Church packages 21,000 meals during 3rd annual One Service Day

Each year on the Sunday before Labor Day, the people of First United Methodist Church Conway celebrate One Service Day with a single worship service, a church-wide meal and a service project.
On Aug. 31, more than 200 people worked to package 21,168 meals for Stop Hunger Now (www.stophungernow.org), an international hunger relief agency that works to end hunger by distributing of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families all over the world.

The Stop Hunger Now meal packaging project is a great inter-generational event, as there are jobs for people of all ages and abilities. Here, Nancy Mulhearn works with her granddaughter, Daylee, to ensure that the right amount of rice goes into each meal package.  PHOTO BY STUART HOLT

In 2013, First UMC Conway packaged 10,000 meals. Because the event was a success, they tried it again for One Service Day 2014—this time, doubling their goal for the number of meals to package.
Extra-mile giving from the people of First UMC Conway funded the project. The $6,846.16 raised paid for the 21,168 meals packaged, as well as the fellowship meal, with seed money left for next year’s One Service Day.
Stop Hunger Now meals are nutritionally sound, and every dehydrated rice-and-soy-based meal is fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients. The organization has designed the meals to store and transport easily, and also to be customizable according to cultural needs and desires. In some countries, added items might include plantains or different types of beans.
The fellowship meal on One Service Day was basically identical to the ones that were being packaged. To customize it, the cooks (members of the Koinonia Sunday School class) added chicken and beans to the meals.
For more information about this project and One Service Day, call the church at 501-329-3801.
—submitted by Colleen Holt