The gift of food

Monday, December 19, 2011

We live in a generous community. A number of churches and organizations do many wonderful things to help others here and around the globe. Last weekend that generosity was on display at a food packing event at the Shawnee Park Center.

Over a three-day period, about 2,600 volunteers packed more than 632,000 meals as part of the MobilePack event for Feed My Starving Children, a Christian-based organization that distributes food to people in 70 countries. The effort, organized by La Croix United Methodist Church, ensures that more than 1,644 children will get one nutritious meal a day for the next year.

Most of us can't relate to the hunger many face. Last year the Rev. Ron Watts, senior pastor at La Croix, described in a guest column that appeared in the Southeast Missourian what starvation looks like and the impact the Feed My Starving Children organization is having around the world. Watts wrote how a boy named Omar, from El Salvador, weighed 18 pounds when he was 8 years old. However, after being on the formula for 16 days, his hair started to grow back and six months later he weighed 73 pounds.

Though the individual meals are economical -- 24 cents each -- packing more than 600,000 meals does require ample funding. La Croix will collect an offering at its Christmas Eve services to cover the costs of these meals. However, those who are not able to attend one of the services can still donate by contacting the church office.

Thank you to all who volunteered and financially support this cause. You are giving a Christmas gift that thousands of children will never forget.

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