Million Meal March In The News

Yesterday’s Charlotte Observer featured this story from Marty Minchin.


Charlotte churches are banding together this month to package 1 million meals to be sent overseas to needy people.

The Million Meal March originated at Good Shepherd Church in Steele Creek. Senior Pastor Talbot Davis said in 2011 the church had packed about 200,000 meals in one day for people in Uganda.
The church wanted to have another large-scale meal-packing event, but staff members weren’t sure if Good Shepherd could do it alone.
“We said, ‘What if we got a lot of church allies together?’ ” Davis said. “Then we might reach a million meals.”
The church contacted others churches nearby and Methodist and Lutheran churches in Charlotte. Now, 13 churches are hosting meal-packing events, some in lieu of Sunday worship.
The 13 churches also committed to donating money to pay for the meals it packs. Financial commitments range from $1,025 to $63,000.
Other participating churches include Providence United Methodist, Myers Park United Methodist, Lake Wylie Lutheran and Lifepointe Christian Church.
Meals are composed of dehydrated rice/soy and are fortified with vitamins and nutrients.
Almost 600 people took part in Christ the King Lutheran Church’s packing event on a recent Sunday. The church regularly draws around 500 to its three Sunday worship services.
“(The congregation) serves all the time in all kinds of ways in the community, but it’s always cool when you’re all together doing something,” said the Rev. Craig Bollinger, pastor of Christ the King. “We’re all in the same room, and you just see the joy on each other’s faces.”
The church committed to packing 80,000 meals.
Packing meals on a Sunday morning is another way the congregation can worship, Bollinger said. “It’s living out worship by example,” he said.
Good Shepherd Church, which has committed to packing 250,000 meals, will cancel its three Sunday services March 30 to hold its packing event.
Davis said the meal-packing event in 2011 had been a big success. One family came to church that Sunday for the first time expecting a worship service. “When they saw what was going on, the dad took off his coat and started working, and they’ve been at the church ever since,” Davis said.
Davis is preaching a sermon series called “Food for Thought” during March and April, looking at stories about food in the Bible.
The church, with an average attendance of several thousand on Sundays, will transform its worship center into an assembly line March 30.
“This is a great way for the people of the church not to hear the sermon, but to be the sermon,” Davis said.
The nonprofit organization Stop Hunger Now, which has a warehouse close to Good Shepherd Church, has arranged for enough trucks and containers to handle the 1 million meals this month. Davis said the meals could be sent to the Philippines to help with relief from the 2013 earthquake there.
The community is invited to any upcoming church meal-packing events, and churches also can host events as part of the Million Meal March effort.

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