Volunteers needed to help 'Stop Hunger Now'

Volunteers needed to help 'Stop Hunger Now'

January 31st, 2012 by Katie Ward in Local Regional News

Inside Signal Mountain's Crest Center, teams of volunteers will race against the clock to package food in 45 minutes in a Stop Hunger Now effort Feb. 8 starting at 6:30 p.m.

"It's a night where we have the potential to feed 60,000 people," said Signal Crest United Methodist Church Director of Missions and Outreach Kelley Woodard. "Our goal is 10,000 bags of food."

That goal will only be met if 120 volunteers are recruited from the Signal Mountain community, she said.

"If anyone wants to be a part of this, you don't have to go to Signal Crest," said Woodard. "The event is for young and old. We welcome as many volunteers that show up."

The team that packages their food the fastest will win $100 to give to the charity of their choice.

"Stop Hunger Now packages dehydrated foods like soybeans, rice, dried, beans and a powder with vitamins and nutrients in it," Woodard said. "They send food packages to crisis areas around the world and also to after-school feeding programs."

She said just the availability of Vitamin A would save 684,000 children's lives per year.

Each Stop Hunger Now package of dehydrated goods, which costs only 25 cents to create, contains six meals to feed a family, according to Woodard.

She said a lot of the packages are sent to the Horn of Africa due to the food crisis there. Food is also sent to areas like Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central America, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

"Signal Crest's mission goals for the year are to help stop hunger, house the homeless and help put an end to extreme poverty," said Woodard. "This is just one small easy step to help stop hunger worldwide."

Since the Stop Hunger Now effort was begun in 2005, volunteers have sent 55 million meals to 36 countries around the world.

"This is just a great opportunity to affect people in need," said Woodard. "It's easy, it does not take much time, and it costs you nothing. But it can literally save lives [to volunteer for Stop Hunger Now]. Jesus tells us we are to take care of the poor and needy. This is just one way to fill that command. Plus, it will be good, fun competition."