At our Sunday morning service on August 11th Gateway Community Church had the chance to prepare thousands of meals for some of the world's poorest people. Partnering again with Stop Hunger Now, we were able to turn a regular Sunday morning into a very tangible and rewarding relief effort that will have far reaching effects. Not to mention how much fun it was!
Stop Hunger Now is an amazing organization that is committed to ending world hunger. Through their meal packaging program, volunteers are able to package nutritious meals that are shipped all over the world. The meals are sent directly to crisis-burdened areas or supplied to school feeding programs. The meals cost only $0.25 per meal to make, making it very accessible.
If you've never been to a SHN event, it is AWESOME! It is hard to believe that we are able to package 20,000-40,000 meals in just a couple of hours! Kids 4 and up can even help, making it very family friendly. When you walk into an event you'll see tables with several different stations, all done assembly line style. SHN brings all of the supplies, you just put on your hair net and get ready to pack!
First, the rice, vegetables, and protein powder are scooped and funneled into the bags. Then the runner (a kid favorite position) brings them to the weighing and sealing station. Next they are boxed and ready to be loaded and shipped. You hear the sound of a big gong every time a thousand meals has been packaged, followed by cheers of enthusiasm. It is a great reminder that every bag completed makes a huge difference in the life of someone in need.
It has been such a blessing for my family and I to participate in each SHN event at Gateway. It is a powerful reminder of how God provides and a great illustration of the importance and impact of community. I particularly love serving beside my 5 year old daughter and seeing her grasp the idea of helping to feed others that have less than we do. Each SHN event gives us a chance to step outside of our busy lives and our constant self and family-centered focus and to literally provide food to people that desperately need it all over the world. It is a very unique service opportunity that we always look forward to.