Working Together to End World Hunger
Breaking out of the mold, the Stop Hunger Now Breakout Session featured information about world hunger and nutrition as well as the opportunity to participate in creating meals for the hungry.
One in three people in developing countries suffers from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. By addressing the problem of hunger, we can stimulate relief and longer-term solutions to address a broad range of interconnected humanitarian needs.
Raleigh’s own Stop Hunger Now is a volunteer-run meal distribution program. Since 1998, it has packed, shipped, and distributed over 180 million meals to 65 countries. Today, convention volunteers met during breakout session hours to take part in this program, receiving education in hunger and preparing thousands of bags of food.
It was a humble room, more a warehouse than convention, but inside was alive with work and laughter. Ten minutes before sessions even began, volunteers were already hard at work scooping, weighing, sealing, packing, and running materials between tables. The end result? A ready-to-go bag filled with rice, soy, and dehydrated vegetables. With water and heat, each bag can feed six people.
Long-time Stop Hunger Now volunteer Denise Carman said her favorite part of the program is its inclusiveness. No matter how much one is able to give of themselves, regardless of age or physical capabilities, there is a place to work. I saw that today as volunteers of every run of life came together and prepared meals.
For every 1,000 bags packed, a gong would sound and send the room into thunderous cheers. In just over an hour, that gong ran 10 times.
The Stop Hunger Now event captured the very best the United Methodist Church has to offer. Gathered together in love, selflessness, and, above all, the heartfelt desire to transform the world, our volunteers created the power to feed 60,000 hungry people. Though our backs ached, our brows sweat, and our voices rang hoarse with thirst and cries of, “more rice here!,” the utter joy and love felt by all involved filled the room to bursting by the session’s end.
If you are inspired by today’s events and would like to get involved with Stop Hunger Now, follow the link below to find information on event hosting, volunteering, education, and making donations.