LEWISBURG — According to the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization, about 820 million people suffer from hunger on a daily basis. Friends and members of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Lewisburg, worked diligently on Saturday to make that statistic a lot less.
Every Fall, friends and members of St. Andrew’s volunteer for RISE Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and aid to the world’s most vulnerable population in an effort to end hunger by the year 2030.
“An exciting aspect of this activity is that it is a intergenerational missional event. Everyone from children to seniors can participate,” says Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlan, Bishop of Episcopal diocese of Central, PA.
The assembly line inside St. Andrew’s was impressive. It started with volunteers filling meal bags with soy, rice, dehydrated vegetables, and a packet of vitamins. When cooked, each bag makes about six meals. Once filled, the bags are then weighed for accuracy, each bag weighing in between 389-394 grams. The bags are then passed down the assembly line to be vacuum sealed and then boxed up to be shipped out.
The boxes of meals are taken to a warehouse in Folcroft, just outside of Philadelphia. They are then packed on a shipping vessel to be distributed to one of the 30 countries where the organization has beneficiary partners, including Catholic Relief Services, Convoy of Hope, ADRA, and other non-profit organizations. Once the meals reach their destination, they are provided to programs such as school funding programs and child and maternal health programs. Meals also support crisis and disaster relief efforts such as those from hurricane Dorian that recently hit the Bahamas.
“ We’ve packaged over 13 million meals with the Episcopal church world wide since 2005,” says Rev. Kevin Magee, director of Faith-Based Global Partnership.
On Saturday, the volunteers at St. Andrews met their goal of packaging 10,000 meals.