The Christian Life Center at Wightman United Methodist Church turned into a food processing plant on Saturday.
The youth of the Prosperity church started a campaign to raise funds for Stop Hunger Now in December.
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 14 years. Since 1998, the organization based in North Carolina has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world.
The meal assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 25 cents.
The goal set by the youth was to raise enough money to fund 10,000 meals.
But by the end of the campaign the youth raised enough money to purchase over 30,000 meals. In addition to collecting money in buckets at the end of church services, the youth also held a spaghetti supper to raise money for the project.
On Saturday around 90 volunteers from the church, Young Life, Newberry College, and others gathered to package the rice, soy, vegetables, flavoring and vitamin packs.
As hair nets were donned, the food packaging assemble started with the food items being measured and bagged. The bags were then weighed and the reusable bags sealed. The sealed bags were boxed and loading onto a delivery truck.
The food bags are being sent to Honduras, where they will be distributed at a school. The food is an enticement to get children to go to school.
Wightman Pastor Dean Lollis said the mission work is easy to organize and is hands on. He adds even young children can help with the project.
Lollis added his daughter, Grace, helped with the project last year at the age of 4 and again this year.
“Grace was able to connect a meal to 25 cents,” said Dean Lollis.
The mission work became more than just giving a quarter but a meal she could hold in her hand, he added.
Volunteers could also be heard commenting that the meal of rice shows how lucky they are to have an abundance of food.
The Stop Hunger Now program was started by a Methodist minister and the mission has been picked up by the statewide Methodist Conference.
At the annual conference in Florence on June 11 a shipping container with 290,000 meals will be packed. Methodist members from around the state are being asked to help with the packaging.
Also, Methodist churches around the state will be doing different missions that week.
As for the Wightman congregation, they plan to do the Stop Hunger Now project again in the fall, said Lollis.