Local church packs 10,000 meals to 'Stop Hunger Now'

Many people pack a lunch. But some people have no food to pack.

Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church packed 10,000 dry meals the morning of Saturday, Nov. 8. The meals will be given to hungry people at home and abroad through “Stop Hunger Now” (www.stophungernow.org).

More than 120 volunteers — well over the 91 that had pre-registered — packed into Dodd Hall, the church social hall. Twenty youth, friends and families, one young adult who'd been discharged from leg surgery the previous day, and seniors in their 80s, plus 96-year-old Gladys Hulse, made quick work of assembling the bagged meals through a well-organized process.

As each of the 1,000 meals was assembled, Milford resident Margery Zurko rang a cymbal that marked each milestone. With so many volunteers, “the gong” rang often and the expected two hour commitment took less than one hour.

“The energy in the room was palpable as each table of volunteers developed of rhythm of inserting the dried food in the prescribed order, transferring the bags to the weighing stations — needed to calculate delivery costs — boxing the bags and loading them onto a truck,” said Pastor Brian Bodt.

“There are many ways to serve our neighbor, but this outreach was a 'one and done' effort,” Pastor Bodt added. “Folks especially who cannot make long-term commitments found this a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of hungry people.”

This particular mission is new to Mary Taylor Memorial Church. The idea was brought to the Missions Committee by long-time church members Brenda and Ed Pineau.

The committee agreed to the $2,500 funding cost, and co-chair Debbie Dubien spearheaded the effort with the help of her committee and the congregation.

“This outreach was an ideal expression of Methodism's commitment to practical Christianity,” Pastor Bodt said.