On Saturday, April 20, Cokes Chapel United Methodist Church in Sharpsburg hosted a “Stop Hunger Now” packaging event and prepared 31,320 high protein, nutritious meals for schools and orphanages in developing countries in less than four hours.
The event began at 8:30 a.m. and concluded at 1:30 when the repackaged meals were loaded for transport to their intended final destination.
“While I acknowledge we haven’t solved the problem of world hunger, our efforts mean more than 30,000 people will have something to eat; and that is awesome,” said Pastor Mark Jordan, pastor of Lighthouse Church, part of Cokes Chapel. Jordan said the event’s success was due in large part to the participation of more than 230 volunteers ranging in age from one to ninety. “As a pastor, I was stunned and humbled to learn that we had participation from 19 churches, the majority of which were local, but some volunteers came from as far away as Macon and Alabama.”
Among the other volunteers were Cokes Chapel Boy Scout Troop 2193 and their families, teachers and parents of Cokes’ Childcare Center, congregants and people from the community who worked in two-hour shifts filling packages with dehydrated, nutrient enriched meals. As interim goals of 1,000 meals were successfully met, a gong sounded spurring volunteers to pause and celebrate and to keep working until the final goal was achieved.
“One of my favorite moments during the event,” Jordan said, “was when I had the opportunity to present Stop Hunger Now representative Ryan Pittman with a check for $7,500. These funds will be used to provide food, medicines, medical supplies and other items that are used to provide relief in crises around the world.”
He also said the generosity of the community has provided seed money to purchase food for next year’s event.
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid in 76 countries round the world.
For more information on this event, call 770-253-6052 or visit cokeschapel.org. Cokes Chapel is at 4096 Lower Fayetteville Rd., Sharpsburg.