By Sherry Jolley, Member of Minor Memorial UMC
Recalling days from his childhood with his grandparents, the Rev. Ken Hart stated, "Food was scarce." Hart is the senior pastor of Greenleaf and Palestine United Methodist Churches both are
The Rev. Ken Hart, senior pastor of Greenleaf UMC and Palestine UMC and the Rev. Amanda Gordon, pastor of Minor Memorial UMC are helping pack food for Stop Hunger Now.
"Stop Hunger Now started its meal packaging program in 2005. Each six-serving bag produced by Stop Hunger Now volunteers includes rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix with 21 essential vitamins and minerals. Each meal costs only 25 cents and has a shelf life of two years."
Hart also shared the story of a professor who grew up in Africa. Her father turned his back on his children and kicked them out, which eventually meant for them "road-kill was a delicacy"--referring to what they needed to do to have food to eat. Pat Ware, assistant program manager and coordinator of these Stop Hunger Now events, stated that every six seconds a child dies of hunger.
At this same food packing event was Patsy Vick, who has first-hand knowledge of how children are so hungry. Vick has traveled overseas to Bucharest, Romania, as a missionary with the orphanage there through Mia's Children. "I have been overseas and have seen children and parents without food. I have seen the mission to feed others." From a packing event held at Minor Memorial in March earlier this year, the more than 10,000 meals packed were a part of a shipmentcontainer totaling 285,120 meals from a Jackson, Mississippi warehouse.
"Those meals are headed to our partner, Reach Now Zambia. This shipment will serve needy children in Zambia through Reach Now and Mission Touch Ministries. Mission Touch Ministries supports approximately 7,800 children with a hot meal each school day in and around Lusaka, Zambia." Vick also adds that many of the children served are drawn into the schools from the streets because of the provision of food. The enrollment at the schools often doubles when the feeding program is introduced, brightening the future of countless needy children.
The Stop Hunger Now event on Saturday, September 21, 2013 was hosted by Minor Memorial United Methodist Church in Walls, Mississippi. This was the second packing event this year hosted by Minor Memorial again with $5,000 being raised to help cover the cost of the food and shipment. This event resulted in over 20,100 meals packed in just over two hours. These events consist of stations of four to five people that package the ingredients. At this particular event, there were eight packing stations with six of them being utilized. The packages then are put into a bin that gets to a "runner." The runner delivers the bins to the weighing station because packages must be in a certain weight range. Upon getting the correct weight, the packages are handed off to the sealers. Each bag is sealed and then passed on to the packagers, where they count, box and seal each box for shipment.
For more information about Stop Hunger Now visitwww.stophungernow.com.