Stop Hunger Now Event
On Sunday afternoon, May 22, at the Tehachapi Valley United Methodist Church, 67 people gathered together for a "Stop Hunger Now" food packaging event. In just a little over 2 hours, they assembled, sealed and boxed 18,000 food packets. Each food packet makes six meals, so they provided over 100,000 meals for those who are hungry.
Pastor Bert Roper presented the idea to the church a couple of years ago. Since each packet costs $0.29, they wanted to raise $2,900.00 to make 10,000 packets. They exceeded their goal and raised over $5,400.00. Members of the Tehachapi Valley United Methodist Church were joined by members of the Four Seasons Community Church, under the leadership of Pastor Joel Valenzuela, and members of the Summit Singers, under the directorship of Scott Walter.
Wearing red hair nets, the 67 volunteers broke into groups of loaders (who kept assembly stations supplied with soy, rice, dehydrated vegetables and vitamin packets), packet assemblers, runners, packet weighers, packet sealers, labelers, and boxers. At the completion of each 1,000 meals, a gong was rung and everybody cheered, hooped and hollered. Then Ryan, the "Stop Hunger Now" representative, would yell out in fun, "OK, back to work!" Ryan observed that this particular team was the fastest group of assemblers that he had ever worked with.
Pastor Roper, who is being reassigned to the Madera UMC as of July 1, said that he was really excited that this idea came to be a reality. "Everyone really had fun and felt good about providing meals for people that they will never meet. This is what it means to "Do Church!"