Men’s group to help fight world hunger

Published 11:16 pm Friday, August 21, 2015

One of the county’s newest faith-based service groups is taking up the fight against world hunger.

The Warren County Cluster of United Methodist Men will hold a packaging event for the nonprofit Stop Hunger Now at 6 p.m. Sept. 20 at Gibson Memorial United Methodist Church, Jim Moore, a member of the group told Port City Kiwanis during their breakfast meeting this week.

“More deaths are caused by malnourishment than are caused by several major diseases combined,” Moore said. “If we do and if we do it right, we can address this problem worldwide.”

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During the event, volunteers composed of men from five Methodist churches — Gibson, Hawkins, Redwood, Crawford Street and Porters Chapel — will package 10,000 meals of rice, soy and dried vegetables, Moore said.

“Stop Hunger Now is an organization that packages dry food in these sealed 1-pound bags — six meals in a bag,” Moore said. “They use this opportunity to provide meals in areas of the world where there is a tremendous amount of malnourishment.”

The Rev. Tommy Miller, the music minister at Hawkins United Methodist Church and a member of Port City Kiwanis, said the church packed 45,000 meals at its last event. In 2014, Methodist volunteers packed 35,000 meals at Crawford Street.

The packages also include a vitamin tablet and seasoning, Miller said, noting he plans to eat nothing but the vacuum packed food during the next Lenten season.

“It’s not bad. If you’re hungry, you’re going to eat it. We’ve done it before and made it, and it’s not bad,” Miller said.

Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been working to end hunger since 1998. The organization has provided more than 100 million meals around the world.

“The goal is to end hunger on this planet. The organization maintains that there are sufficient resources to accomplish this if it is,” Moore said.

The presentation also inspired Kiwanis members to pledge to help the local fight against hunger by donating to Storehouse Food Pantry.

“Here in Vicksburg there is a need to eradicate hunger that’s here. Then we can go other places,” Kiwanis member Jim Stirgus Jr. said.

Moore agreed and said it is important to support local charities such as the pantry.

“It’s great to be able to go in across the world and address these issues, but when you do that to the exclusion of what’s in your back yard, you’re missing something fundamental,” Moore said.

Kiwanis member Johnny Reynolds challenged members of the club to donate a canned food item every week during September. The donations will be given to the local pantry, Reynolds said.

“Around this time of year, things get low and they don’t have a lot,” Reynolds said.