Local churches take action to fight hunger

CookingMattersShowerCooking Matters shower held by Little Rock church’s United Methodist Women

The United Methodist Women Summer Circle of Asbury UMC Little Rock in July held a Cooking Matters shower in support of the 200,000 Reasons to Fight Childhood Hunger initiative. The Cooking Matters educational program teaches people how to shop on a budget and prepare healthy, nutritious meals. The course, which features six classes, is being taught by local United Methodist churches after they receive training from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. This Cooking Matters shower provided kitchen tools for participants to help them implement their newly learned skills at home. Besides dozens of spatulas, measuring cups, mixing bowls and bakeware, the shower also brought in three complete sets of cookware.

Deaconess Colleen Caldwell, project manager for 200,000 Reasons, delivered the items collected to the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, where they will be distributed throughout the state. Pictured at left are Alex Handfinger, field manager for Cooking Matters at the Store; Caldwell; and Cooking Matters director Rachel Townsend. For information on how to hold a Cooking Matters shower, visit 200KReasons.arumc.org.

ForemanPackShackForeman area churches work with Pack Shack for community mission

First UMC Foreman and Wade’s Chapel UMC on July 30 sponsored a special event in the Foreman Community Center: a Pack Shack meal-packing party that included participation by six area churches. In addition to the sponsoring congregations, Winthrop UMC, First UMC Ashdown, St. Matthews Baptist Church of Foreman and Trinity Presbyterian Church’s Heroes Pantry of Texarkana participated.

More than 80 volunteers from the churches and community put together a total of 16,704 meals for stocking area food pantries. Helpers from age three to age 85 participated in this mission.

First UMC Foreman and Wade’s Chapel UMC financed the event with the help of a grant for a mission project for hunger relief and food pantries in Little River County, and the Heroes Pantry of Texarkana.

MusicCamp2016_200KMusic camp offering benefits local food ministry

First UMC Fort Smith’s 25th annual Music Camp was held July 25-29, 2016. Campers worked all week and at the culmination of camp presented the musical “By the Sea” by Mary Nelson Keithahn and John Horman. Participants included 37 campers, 14 youth helpers and 19 adult volunteers. As a way of meeting a local need highlighted by the Conference-wide 200,000 Reasons to Fight Childhood Hunger initiative, the love offering of $1,725 collected at the performance of the musical was presented the Antioch Discovery Garden, a project of the Antioch Food Ministry.

NLR church assembles Pack Shack meals for several area feeding ministries

NLRPackShackFirst United Methodist Church North Little Rock on July 31 hosted a meal-packing party in the church’s fellowship hall in an effort to carry out their mission statement, “Together, proclaiming Christ by loving God and serving God’s people,” as well as to help with the Arkansas Conference’s 200,000 Reasons to Fight Childhood Hunger initiative.

From feeding the hungry on the last Monday of every month in downtown North Little Rock with the Broadway Bridge Project, to holding holiday food drives and partnering with Indian Hills Elementary for its backpack food program, First UMC North Little Rock sees the need for meals in their city and community.

Working with The Pack Shack, 185 participants of all ages packed close to 32,000 meals in one hour. The meals went to the Amboy Community Food Pantry, the Gardner Memorial UMC Food Pantry, First UMC’s weekend backpack food program and to schools in Sherwood and North Little Rock.

StJamesGolfClassic2016Church gives golf tourney proceeds to 200K Reasons

St. James UMC Little Rock held its ninth annual Golf Classic on Saturday, June 25, at the Burns Park Championship Course. The event designates a cause each year, and this year is donating the $8,500 raised to 200,000 Reasons to Fight Childhood Hunger, the current United Methodist initiative to reduce childhood hunger in Arkansas.