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Church to pack meals for Stop Hunger Now

Posted: April 2, 2013 - 1:11pm

Members of Grace United Methodist Church are working to stop hunger.

On May 4, the church’s Wesley Center will make room for an assembly line to package meals through the Stop Hunger Now charity, which send the meals overseas to a nation in need. Until then, the church is collecting monetary donations.

The Stop Hunger Now organization “will bring the bulk food. I’ve heard it takes about two hours for 70 volunteers to package 10,000 meals,” said the Rev. James Dennis Jr., senior pastor. That will cost about $2,500.

The bulk ingredients include rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, a flavor packet and vitamins and minerals. These can be packaged together for 25 cents per meal, according to the Stop Hunger Now website.

Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., Stop Hunger Now started its food packaging program in 2005 and has distributed food in 76 nations.

Every 15 seconds a child dies due to malnutrition; more than 25,000 people die daily because of hunger-relate causes, according to the organization.

Since the program began, more than 93 million meals have been packaged.

Dennis said he will not know where the food will go until closer to the packaging event. Other United Methodist churches in South Carolina have banded to take on this cause as an outreach, and several from the Greenwood district are joining with Grace for the May event.

Dennis said churches in Batesburg, Edgefield, Johnston and McCormick have already pledged support.

“We’ve never done this before so we don’t know what to expect,” he said. “There are some churches that do this again and again.”

If donations exceed $2,500, more meals can be packaged, and extra volunteers would not be turned away.

To learn more about Stop Hunger Now, visit the website at www.stophungernow.org. To help Grace, call the church at (803) 279-7525.

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