Packing meals at prison will do more than feed the hungry

Friday, February 1, 2019

La Croix Church is working with prison officials to love two birds with one stone, to bend a metaphor.

By setting up a program where prisoners can pack meals for impoverished children, the church is helping not just impoverished children in barren countries, it is also helping inmates experience the joy of giving.

The event is planned for April 17, when organizers expect that prisoners will pack 150,000 meals for Feed My Starving Children, an international organization.

The church's prison ministry is raising $34,000 to cover the cost of the meals, which are about 23 cents each, according to a recent story by Marybeth Niederkorn. The event will be paid for exclusively with private funds.

Volunteers have been packing meals like this for a decade, thanks to La Croix's vision. Some 5,000 people every year pack 750,000 meals in December every year.

So now the church is blending two very useful programs, the Feed My Starving Children event and its prison ministry.

Southeast Correctional Center warden Jason Lewis said the meal-packing event will be the first at a prison in Missouri.

"When it comes to the day we'll do it, everybody will be involved -- staff, inmates, volunteers, all together," Lewis said. "It's really going to be neat. We have a lot of stuff going on here, but this will be something new."

What an inspired idea. The work will give the inmates a reason to be proud of themselves. It will remind them of the world around them, and that they can make a difference. And, ultimately, it will nourish some of the neediest children in the world.

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