Stop Hunger Now: ECMS students package 18,000 meals



Nathaniel Long wants to stop hunger now – and he has some youthful, energetic supporters at East Coweta Middle School.
Long, pastor of Senoia United Methodist Church, has been working with Stop Hunger Now for several years. He traveled to Nicaragua to visit a Stop Hunger Now feeding center earlier this year.
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 12 years.
Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world.
Stop Hunger Now has provided more than $70 million dollars worth of direct aid and 34 million meals to 72 countries worldwide.
Stop Hunger Now created its meal packaging program in 2005. The program perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets.
Each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf-life of five years and transports quickly.
Stop Hunger Now has packaged more than 34 million meals since the inception of the meal packaging program in December 2005. As the 2011-2012 school year came to a close, students at East Coweta Middle School spent the last day of school helping prepare meals for the outreach program.
Long said the “fun, hands-on project” involved the school’s sixth graders. The students enjoyed the activity, but it also “taught them about hunger, a major issue in today’s world,” Long said.
Every sixth grade student at ECMS “had the opportunity to help package nutritious meals to help students overseas” on May 25, Long said.
Senoia United Methodist Church and Mt. Gilead United Methodist Church at Raymond near Sharpsburg helped put the project together, along with three LaGrange United Methodist congregations –Pleasant Grove, Whitesville and Hopewell. Local businesses also provided funds for the effort.
“Students were able to package 18,312 meals,” Long said.
“Money was not collected from the students,” he said. “This was a gift to the students and those receiving the meals from our community.”
This was the second year for ECMS students to work with Stop Hunger Now, which has its headquarters in Raleigh, N.C.