This past weekend our church, St. Augustine Episcopal Church, had a community outreach project they sponsored. The event was called Stop Hunger Now. You package meals that will be sent to people all over the world that are in need of food. This was such a wonderful experience for the whole family! Our youngest was 5 years old – what a great way to learn how to give even at such a young age!! It is hard to find service projects for our young children. This is also a great event for our seniors. Some of the stations you could sit, so many were manned by our older population. We had raised enough to sponsor two shifts and my family participated in the morning shift. We started out getting some information about the organization and some safety rules from the Program Manager, Chris Romero.
You can see the stations set prior to us working them. The gong was hit every time we hit 1,000 meals! We could all take 20 seconds and cheer, but then had to keep working. We hit the gong 11 times!!!
So there were several steps to prepping a bag. Each bag had a vitamin pack, soy oats, dehydrated vegetables, and rice. You would put each item through the funnel into the bag. Then each bag was taken to a weighing station where they would remove or add rice to be a certain weight. All of these meals are shipped to other countries, so they have weight requirements for shipping. Then after each bag is weighed, it goes to the sealing station where they are sealed with heat. The next station was to the packing station. They have a grid of 18 squares, which says Stop Hunger Now, and you fill that grid twice to have 36 bags, which are then boxed. The boxes are then loaded onto the truck.
The Lovins and the Prices serving together!!
Our fearless leader, below on the left, Jim Quinney, arranged for this wonderful outreach project. He LOVED to cheer when the bong was hit, but then would quickly yell (in a jokingly way) “Get back to work!!” Maddie is working with our family friends, The Prices, at a station. Almost entirely done by five kids ages 5 to 13 with some adult supervision. So proud of all of them!! Meagan helped some other younger children at the weighing station, and you can see Andrew Price above manning the counting for the boxing. Music is playing and everyone is having a great time while doing such a great service for the world!
Here is one of the shirts that was available for purchase, but what just amazed me was what it says and what it costs for the shirt!! You could spend $15 on a shirt to support a cause you believe in and that $15 would feed 60 – yes 60 people!! How many of us spend $15 on one person at a restaurant for dinner?
This is not a meal that is going to stuff you or even make your tummy full. This is a meal that is going to provide some nourishment to keep you alive another day!! We take for granted what we have here and the food we have (and waste!) It is so good to have as a reminder as an adult, but even more so for my children to learn about giving and seeing how others live and survive. We packed over 24,000 meals in less than 4 hours between the two shifts! That is just incredible to me!!
We learned that our meals were going to the Philippines.
This is a project our church will be sponsoring again and I hope will grow each time we do it and stretch even farther into the community than what we did this time. I highly encourage you to participate in an event like this. I have already had several friends tell me they would like to join us next time!!
STOP HUNGER NOW!!