Hopewell United Methodist Church, in Tyrone, hosted a meal packing event on Saturday, Sept. 22. They packed 20,088 meals for “Rise Against Hunger,” an organization dedicated to stamping out hunger by the year 2030.

Above, Kaitlyn, Ryan, and Griselda Marmelejos weigh bags of food to make sure they all contain the same amount.

This year’s event was held at Robert J. Burch Elementary, and 100 volunteers participated. Volunteers came from all over the area with the majority coming from Hopewell UMC and Burch Elementary, but there was also a large group of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.

This was the eighth year Hopewell has hosted this event and they have packed a total of 114,536 meals during that time. Since the church’s contributions totaled over 100,000, they were given an award from Rise Against Hunger to commemorate this milestone.

The meals consist of dehydrated vegetables, rice, seasonings, and vitamins. Volunteers filled, weighed, and sealed the ingredients in poly bags that will be shipped to hungry people around the world. Each meal packet is enough to feed six children or three teens. The “Rise Against Hunger” organization is also helping victims of recent hurricanes with their meal needs during this devastating time in their lives.

Hopewell will now start raising funds for the 2019 event. For more information, or to volunteer for the next event, contact Hopewell UMC at 770-306-7537. If you would like to help, but can’t participate, monetary donations are always welcome. It took over $5,000 to make this year’s event a reality. Make checks payable to Hopewell UMC, mark the check for Rise Against Hunger (RAH), and send it to 351 Jenkins Road, Tyrone, GA 30290. — Story and photos by Elaine Pierce.

Below, Becky and Ryan Elizabeth Lake prepare to scoop ingredients into a bag to send to those in need through the Rise Against Hunger packing event.