International development charity Feed The Hungry have today announced a new community food packing initiative that hopes to re-engage churches in world mission, following the coronavirus pandemic. The ‘Hand-to-Hand’ events have been launched alongside World Food Day on Saturday 16th October and aim to bring church communities together to collaborate in packing and sending a shipping container of meals to children living below the poverty line across the world.
The food packing events involve taking raw, dry ingredients – rice, soya, lentils, and micronutrients – and combining them to create meal bags. These are then sealed, boxed, palletised, and sent by freight to one of Feed The Hungry’s trusted partners around the world. The project hopes to provide vital food to those who need it, but also create an opportunity to build relationships within congregations and communities while engaging in world mission.
Regional Operations Director of Feed The Hungry, Gavin Kibble, says, “Over the last year, we have seen many Christians step up and help those most in need locally. As a charity, we are acutely aware of the devastating impact COVID continues to have in communities across the world, and even as lockdown has ended, we are excited to see Christians reengage with mission and to feed vulnerable children across the world.”
Feed The Hungry provide all of the equipment, food, and a team of people to run the event at church venues. James Coombs leads South Kent Community Church who ran a food packing event last week.
James says, “We had one member of our church who was keen to do something practical in reaching out to those in need in the poorest nations but wasn’t in a position to travel. A “Feed The Hungry” food packing event was a wonderful opportunity. As a church leader, it was wonderful to see a mix of ages working together for an amazing cause.
“On a personal note, I think it made an impact on my daughters (15 and 9) who were able to pack the ingredients in a small bag that represented 6 meals. The activity was fun and the time zoomed by!”
Hunger and food insecurity have increased dramatically in the last year during COVID-19, with more than 40 million people experiencing extreme levels of hunger. This is nearly a 70 percent increase on the previous year. Feed The Hungry partner with the charities and churches on the ground to ensure that food is provided to the children and young people most in need. Now, with the increased need and the disruption in provision caused by the pandemic, the need has never been greater.
Rev. Dr. Hugh Osgood, President of Churches Together England, says, “When your church is working together, they are getting envisioned. And what better way than to get envisioned for a whole world mission than doing something practical? This is an incredible introduction to world mission for church communities to get hands-on in changing people’s lives.”
If your church would be interested in getting involved with a Hand-to-Hand event, please find out more here: fth.org.uk/handtohand or call 01455 618455
Written By: Esther Jolliffe