More than 300 volunteers turned out to sort, package and label food and load disaster recovery supplies during the 40th anniversary United Methodist Ingathering.

The Nov. 18 event was held at the Arkansas Foodbank warehouse in Little Rock. In just four hours, volunteers of all ages and abilities packaged 14,000 pounds of pinto beans, boxed 30,000 pounds of sweet potatoes and loaded tons of flood buckets, kits and cleaning supplies. The food is earmarked for Arkansans supplies will be ready to help when a disaster strikes.

“I am filled with hope because of the hundreds of Methodists who come together in one morning, ready to work and full of compassion for the hungry,” said Mary Lewis Dassinger, program coordinator for 200,000 Reasons to Fight Childhood Hunger, the Arkansas Conference’ initiative to reduce childhood hunger in the state. “Ingathering is a message of hope with every bag of beans, box of sweet potatoes and disaster relief kit sent out to make a difference in the life of the hurting.”

Matthews Farm in Wynne donated the potatoes. The harvest and gleaning, made possible by the Arkansas Department of Corrections, was coordinated by the Society of Saint Andrew. The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance plays an instrumental role in bringing together these partnerships.

“There are so many hands that are part of Ingathering,” Dassinger added.

In addition to covering Ingathering expenses such as purchasing the beans, boxes and packing supplies, and covering staff overtime, the total of which comes to approximately $10,000, the Arkansas Conference made a $2,600 cash donation to the Arkansas Foodbank.

At the end of the day, 17 United Methodist food pantries returned home with an abundance of items to stock their shelves.

Also at Ingathering, local churches reported on the past year’s mission and service activities. According to the Conference Center for Administrative Services, of the churches that reported, more than 222,000 hours have focused on mission and service activities in the past year.

This story is from the February Edition of the Arkansas United Methodist, read more at: https://goo.gl/jn6vLS

Stories in this edition include:

  • Witnessing Revival in Cuba
  • Fill a Bag with Hope
  • Church expansion at Paragould
  • Little Rock congregation seeks new church home
  • Sinning in an Age of Facebook by Bishop Mueller
  • Churches urged to ‘Get Up and Give’ during Lent
  • Grant funds more materials for home repair projects by OMP
  • UM Foundation grant helps complete chapel at Malvern correctional unit
  • April event to focus on congregational care model
  • Coming Events