By Susan Mires
LEE’S SUMMIT – The vision is to pack a quarter of a million meals. It will take a lot of volunteers to get it done.
This will be the second year Summit Woods Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit has hosted a mobile meal packing event for the Kansas City area.
Last year, volunteers bagged 125,000 meals to be distributed around the world. Excited by the success, the church doubled the goal for 2010.
“After the event, I was thinking everybody I know should do this,” said Heather Ruisinger, a member of Summit Woods and one of the organizers.
The mobile packing event is coordinated with Feed My Starving Children, a Christian hunger relief organization that distributes food in about 60 countries.
“People often talk about that they’d like to help feed the starving, but they don’t know how,” Ruisinger said. “This is a way they can step in and really help.”
The packing stations are set up in Summit Woods’ gymnasium. Volunteers scoop the ingredients into individual packets, seal, label, pack them in boxes and pray over the meals. The food was formulated by scientists to deliver nutrition that is easy to prepare and digest.
Ingredients include rice, soy protein, and dehydrated vegetables. The meal needs only to be mixed with hot water to be ready to eat.
More than 500 volunteers will be needed to pack 250,000 meals. They will work in two-hour shifts during the event, which is July 23-24. The day is a great way to involve youth groups, Boy or Girl Scout troops, service clubs, retirees and just about anyone age 5 and up, Ruisinger said. Summit Woods hopes to involve the whole Kansas City community in the project.
“It’s great for young and old. There are jobs where you can sit down,” she said. Other jobs, such as loading the boxes, require lifting.
An informational meeting will be held at 3 p.m. March 21 at Summit Woods. Each church or group thinking about participating should send one person to learn about being involved and receive promotional materials.
There are many ways to help with the Kansas City feeding event. Each meal costs 17 cents; that means the Kansas City group needs to raise $42,000 to fund the meals.
Last year, some corporations participated and donated to the project.
“You can give $20 and buy a whole lot of meals and really do some good,” Ruisinger said.
Children have been especially involved in learning how they can help hungry children around the world, either by collecting quarters or packing meals.
The mobile packing event is also a good entry point for anyone to get involved in missions.
“You think about Jesus saying, ‘I was hungry and you fed me,’” Ruisinger said. “It’s not practical for all of us to fill a suitcase with food and go to Haiti and feed children. But this is a practical way to actually feed starving children. It makes a real difference.”
For more information, visit www.feedkidskc.org or call Summit Woods at (816) 525-8215, or attend the March 21 informational meeting. It is not necessary to make reservations for the informational meeting.