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Help Stop Hunger Now

Published 7:02pm Thursday, January 17, 2013

With more than 300 people required to do the work that lies in store, the annual Stop Hunger Now meals-packaging effort at Ebenezer United Methodist Church is one of the biggest all-volunteer efforts each year in a city that benefits from and participates in many philanthropic efforts annually.

On Feb. 2, volunteers will gather once again at the church in Eclipse to pack meals for poor families in places like the Philippines and Honduras. Fundraising efforts by a variety of area Rotary clubs, along with the church and others, have resulted in better collections than expected this year, meaning that those who are in charge of the effort locally expect to package about 60,000 family meals that day, instead of the approximately 40,000 they’d set as a goal. And since, according to Wendy Hosick of the North Suffolk Rotary Club, one package of food in a quart-sized Ziploc bag can feed a family of six, that equates to more than a quarter-million hungry mouths that will be fed as a result of the groups’ efforts.

Each year, volunteers from the Rotary clubs and the church are joined by representatives from other community organizations, as well as individuals and families that have heard about the volunteer opportunity, to help fill the bags. So far this year, 200 or so have signed up for the event. Another 100 are needed to handle the expected volume of food. All of the volunteers have been asked to bring canned goods with them to donate to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, “so we can not only focus on the hunger internationally, but also have a domestic focus,” Hosick said.

The event is usually fun for those who volunteer for it, Hosick said, and it’s a good opportunity for families to work together on a humanitarian project that will make a big difference in the lives of some people who desperately need help.

To sign up to participate in the effort, email Hosick at wmhosick@aol.com. You’ll be glad you did.

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