The following article was submitted by Ann Chase.
Even though Florence caused the Rise Against Hunger event to be postponed one week, more than 200 volunteers of all gathered together for the packaging program.
On Saturday, September 22nd the crowd met at the Crawford Center at West End Presbyterian Church to create meal packages which included vitamin mix, a cup of a dried soybean mixture, some dried vegetables and a cup of rice filled by four people at each bag filling station. Once the packets were filled, they were taken to a table to be weighed and adjusted, if needed, with more or less rice. Bags were then handed across the table to be sealed. Music played and a gong is sounded at each 1,000 bag mark. In just two hours, a record number of 62,208 meals were packaged!
West End Presbyterian Church has hosted this event each fall since 2012 with the support of local churches. This year’s partner churches included Chapel in the Pines, Grace Church, Seven Lakes Baptist Church, and West End United Methodist Church. These churches provided both financial and volunteer support.
Financial donations from the Seven Lakes Kiwanis, individuals, and groups from the greater community also assisted in this effort. Financial contributions totaled in excess of $18,000 .Each meal, which costs 29 cents, will feed 3-4 persons. The Rise Against Hunger leader at this event stated that these meals will most likely be sent to Haiti and Sierra Leone in Africa.
Over the past seven years of this event, the churches and people of the greater Seven Lakes/West End community have come together to support and package more than 344,200 meals to be sent to others in need.
West End Presbyterian Church is located at 275 Knox Lane. Sunday School for ages three through adult is held at 10:00 am followed by worship, led By Rev. Maggie F. Beamguard, at 11:00 am. A nursery is provided for both. Contact the church at (910) 673-4341 or at www.westendpres.church.