For the eighth year in a row, Canterbury United Methodist (UMC) and St. Luke’s Episcopal partnered against hunger. With the help of nearly two thousand volunteers, they packed over 300,000 meals over a three-day period in February. The group also met its goal of packing three million total meals for Rise Against Hunger over its past eight years of participation. “We are thrilled to be able to offer the community this three-day experience to do hands-on service while facing the real issue of world hunger,” said Rachel Estes, Director of Outreach and Missions at Canterbury. “Rise Against Hunger strives to break the cycle of poverty by meeting immediate nutritional needs through connections with local schools in insecure areas around the world. This year, we are proud to partner with them in packing food for Honduras.” In addition to volunteering to pack meals, area students also raised money to cover the cost of the food. Glen Iris Elementary students raised $1,900 and Cherokee Bend Elementary raised $500 for the event.
The packed meals include a combination of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals in small meal packets. Each meal costs only 29 cents, stores easily, has a shelf-life of five years, and transports quickly. “Through Rise Against Hunger, I’ve seen people of all ages and walks of life come together to volunteer in a common goal. I’ve seen teenagers that volunteered for a morning shift choose to stay all day. I’ve seen children literally have their birthday party at this event. I’ve even seen people who are locally food insecure help pack meals. But most of all, I’ve seen the shipping containers opened in Haiti and the food that our volunteers packed get cooked and distributed within a school there,” said Estes. “This is truly an event that makes a difference in so many people’s lives both here and internationally.” †