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Grace hosts Stop Hunger Now event

Volunteers pack 12,000 meals

Posted: May 6, 2013 - 1:23pm
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Ann Anderson (from left), Virgil Rush and Cara Chiswell help with the food-packaging process for Stop Hunger Now's drive at Grace United Methodist Church in North Augusta on Saturday. The food packages go overseas.   SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Ann Anderson (from left), Virgil Rush and Cara Chiswell help with the food-packaging process for Stop Hunger Now's drive at Grace United Methodist Church in North Augusta on Saturday. The food packages go overseas.

Placing vitamin packets in a bag was one small way Betty Wilson felt she could help others.

“I have been on overseas missions trips and I’ve seen the need,” said Wilson, who was one of more than 120 volunteers at Grace United Methodist Church’s Stop Hunger Now event Saturday, packing 12,000 meals.

Stop Hunger Now is an international organization that provides packets of food to charity organizations in 70 nations.

“Our partners work with children in schools and orphanages. The food helps these children get an education and get equipped for life to break out of the cycle of poverty,” said Mark Barnes, with Stop Hunger Now, who gave the volunteers a pep talk and instructions before they started putting together the components of the meal packets.

At Saturday’s event, Stop Hunger Now provided bulk food items including soy, rice and a vitamin packet. Volunteers measured out the ingredients to create packages that would provide six meals.

Barnes said the meals packed on Saturday would be sent to Charlotte, N.C. Stop Hunger Now ships out the meals when they have a shipping container filled with 280,000 meals. Last month, the organization sent out three containers – one to Haiti, one to Nicaragua and one to Honduras.

“Your effort will change the world,” he said. “Your mustard seed effort is faith in motion to change the world.”

The Rev. James Dennis Jr., Grace United Methodist Church’s senior minister, said he was overwhelmed by the support of his congregation and other Methodist churches, as well as the North Augusta community.

“People have exceeded my expectations,” he said.

Sharon Barnes, who attends Grace and is not related to Mark Barnes, said she was excited to be part of a hands-on project.

“I like the fact that the money you give, you can actually see where it’s going,” she said. “You are actively helping people.”

Stop Hunger Now has been feeding impoverished children for about 10 years.

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