Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:44
This past Sunday, in a little over two hours, members of Potomac Conference’s Community Praise Center-Dulles (CPC-Dulles) in Dulles, Va., worked with community members to pack 11,200 meals. Working in teams of four and five in the recreation hall of the Sterling Fire House, the group of 45 packed enough food to save nearly 1,200 lives.
Church members were motivated to act after hearing statistics from the nonprofit group Stop Hunger Now and the United Nations that one person dies from starvation every three seconds, 20 per minute, 1,200 per hour and 28,800 per day. The Dulles campus, with support from the Potomac Conference evangelism fund, partnered with Stop Hunger Now and paid for the bulk supplies needed for each meal bag.
They then prepped the raw materials—that included dehydrated vegetables, soy and rice—into bags, sealed them, packaged them in boxes and stacked them on a pallet ready for shipment. The meals will be sent somewhere around the world in the next two months to save another person from starving to death from lack of a meal. With proper care, each bag can last over two years and be ready to feed six people when opened and reconstituted.
Church members invited the community either by mail or in person to participate in the packing and some 15 community members joined them on Sunday. Several families were thrilled that an opportunity was provided for their elementary-age children to give back to others. A homeless man who has been coming to the church also participated. After the event, he said, “You guys (the church) have given so much to help me out, I wanted to do this to give back.”
Elaine Kapetanakis, a member of the church’s outreach team, explained, “We got involved with this because at CPC-Dulles our mission is to minister to the community. Our [goal] is that 51 percent of everything we do will be community outreach/based. So, when we have a program for our members, we have a program for the community. Our outreach team plans a wide variety of events to meet the needs of many.”