10,000 Meals: Dublin UMC group holds meal packaging event

Thanks to the efforts of between 50 and 60 local residents – most of whom attend Dublin United Methodist Church – many needy Haitian residents will soon receive the makings of a nutritious meal.

The church last Thursday hosted a “meal packaging event” with the help of Robin Morrison of Rise Against Hunger – a non-profit organization based in Raleigh, N.C.

meal packaging event
Rise Against Hunger’s Robin Morrison shows members of Dublin United Methodist Church how to package rice and soy for meals to be distributed to Haiti. (Mike Williams photo)

According to Jo Ellen Hetherington of Dublin United Methodist Church, the event was spearheaded by the Cheerful Adults group of seniors at the church.

“Rise Against Hunger is an international ministry that was started by United Methodist Church Minister Ray Buchanan in 1998,” said Hetherington – herself a former minister.

According to the Rise Against Hunger website (www.riseagainsthunger.org), the organization’s goal is to end worldwide hunger by 2030.

Hetherington said the Cheerful Adults at the church paid for the food packaged last week for transport to Haiti.

It takes 40 or more volunteers, she said, between 2 and 2 1/2 hours to package in plastic bags over 10,000 dehydrated, high protein, nutritious meals of rice, soy, vegetables and 23 essential vitamins and minerals.

Rise Against Hunger delivers the food, bags and boxes to the church where volunteers put it all together.

Last Thursday’s meal packaging event was actually the adult group’s regular monthly meeting for April. The group meets the fourth Thursday of each month.

The members enjoyed a hearty lunch themselves, prior to dividing up into different stations where the food was weighed, bagged and sealed and packed for shipment overseas.

The boxes holding the food ready to ship to Haiti displayed labels saying it had been packaged at Dublin United Methodist Church.

“This is a great way for people who can’t go on mission trips to do something globally to help others, right here at home,” said Hetherington.

She said businesses can also get in on the project, noting that Celanese in Giles County had also hosted a meal packaging event in the past.