Turning Hunger Into Hope

11/18/2016
By Debby Kirk

Westbrook youth measure ingredients at mobile meal pack event. Photo by Julia Manners
Several of our CTUCC youth groups joined with hundreds of volunteers to support the Central Connecticut Mobile meal packing event for Feed My Starving Children on November 11 and 12. Groups signed up for back-to-back shifts over two days in an effort to address world hunger. This was the fifth year that the Bethany Covenant Church was the sponsored this meal pack.
 
Emily, a staffer for Feed My Starving Children instructed the group at the beginning of each session: "Food is the foundation to all other developmental needs. If we can break the cycle of hunger, we can stop poverty and help children live out their dreams."
 
 "Your time here today matters; you are part of a larger story," stated Kristen, the coordinator from the Bethany church. "Feed My Starving Children partners with non-profits around the world to reverse starvation."
 
The Eversource warehouse in Berlin was set up with a dozen work stations. Volunteers donned hairnets and plastic gloves and chose assignments, working in teams of ten. They measured the four ingredients: vitamin powder, soy powder for protein, dehydrated vegetables, and rice.  Each bag was weighed and sealed and packed in shipping boxes which were then loaded onto pallets. Work started slowly but shifted into smooth assembly-line production in no time. Runners were kept busy refilling the ingredients and cheers went up every time a station filled a box.
 
At the end of the Saturday afternoon shift, the 112 volunteers had stacked up another 156 boxes. The total for the two days of work was an impressive 174,312 meals, enough to feed 92 children for a year.
 
 "My job was to scoop rice and pour it through the funnel into the bags. The two hours went by quickly and it is satisfying to know that I had an impact on someone else's life," commented Cassidy from Westbrook.
 
Youth from First Congregational Church in Southington attended on Friday. The Middlesex Giv2 Chapter worked on Saturday morning and the Saturday afternoon shift included youth from Westbrook and Madison, two congregations which are working to start a new Giv2 Chapter.
 
As they left the building, everyone was invited to taste a sample of this nourishing food. Zachary, a teen from Westbrook offered this reflection on the experience: "I learned how one small act of kindness can help a lot of people," he said.