Volunteers to pack food at 4 locations
By Woody Woodrick
Pastors in the East Lauderdale covenant group know exactly what hungry people around the world will get from
They’ve not only agreed to help package meals for Stop Hunger Now, they’ve actually tasted them.
“At one of the covenant meetings, we cooked a couple of the packages and tasted it,” said the Rev. Lynne Anderson. “This is something we can see and touch and taste. That makes it real. We’re doing something that helps others in the world.”
The goal is to package 100,000 servings of crisis response food and raise at least $25,000.
Mike Ward serves as coordinator for the conference. Ward, the husband of Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, serves on the board of directors for Stop Hunger Now.
The project grew out of a workshop held at the 2006 Annual Conference. Ray Buchanan, president of Stop Hunger Now, showed those who attended how the packaging works.
“Later in the summer some of my colleagues (at the
Anderson, associate pastor at Pleasant Grove UMC in
“We set a target at each location and feel confident we will meet our goals,” Ward said. “The money helps pay for the food and to ship it.”
Each of the sites will package dehydrated, fortified rice-soy meals containing more than 20 vitamins and minerals especially formulated for the undernourished. The meals will be vacuum-sealed in bags 3 millimeters thick, allowing them to be stored in warehouses for a minimum of three years.
“The food is really useful in dire food-crisis situations,” Ward said. “It’s durable. That doesn’t sound appetizing, but it’s important. It tastes good and travels well.
“The meal has to be boiled 20 minutes before it is edible. The water quality is problematic in some emergency situations. It is a really good food product for crises around the world.”
The Rev. Zeb Manning, who is coordinating the
“It’s a hands-on (event),” he said. “You’re not sending it off to some obscure place you don’t know anything about. It’s so simple, and the need is so bold and in front of everybody’s face. They can relate to the need through the simplicity of it. Being able to do something about it is really exciting for a lot people.”
Ward agreed. “I think the interest is the product of three things,” he said.
“People really want to help and understand that hunger is one of the world’s ugliest and worst blights,” he said. “Second, it’s a project they can literally put their hands on. Packaging events are fun. Third, it is a relatively simple project. It’s not complicated. We package and ship it, and it winds up in front of hungry people.”
Ward also pointed out that the project appeals to all people who want to help others. “Not all who package are church-goers or Christians,” he said. “A number of people who participate are believers, but it is ecumenical.”
The packages made in