September
29

In June of 2014, the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church in The United States launched a year long campaign to end world hunger. Here’s what happened: They pledged to packaged 1 million meals with Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) from Annual Conference meetings in 2014 until the next year’s Annual Conference began. Driven by an efficiently organized effort, almost methodical (pun intended), they presented the opportunity for entire districts and individual churches to engage and act in the hunger mission. The conference provided instruction, templates for needed communications, and applications for grants to help fund the project.

Hundreds of United Methodist volunteers help pack meals to ship to those in need through Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now). Photo by Armando Rodriguez Jr.

Hundreds of United Methodist volunteers help pack meals to ship to those in need through Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now). Photo by Armando Rodriguez Jr.

Led by Rev. Pam Carter, the effort began after a trip to Haiti where she visited a school. There she met a young child name Michelle who left school each day having eaten nothing. Michelle was not alone – as most of the 200 children who attended the same school lived out the same story of hunger both at school and home. Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) stepped in and sent the school a shipping container of food and now the children are able to learn and grow because their need has been met. Not only does the food give them life-giving nutrients but it also fills the children with Hope and Love.

That annual conference exceeded their goal by nearly 700,000 meals. It was a big goal to meet, but that United Methodist Conference has around 700 churches and over 280,000 members. The size and scope of who they are isn’t the purpose of this article. Yes, we hope to celebrate the strides we make in bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth by eliminating hunger and suffering, but it doesn’t take one quarter of a million people to do it.

Reagan Chester, 9, of Tallahassee is among hundreds of United Methodists of all ages who kick off Annual Conference 2013 by helping to package nutritious meals for people in need. Photo by Armando Rodriguez Jr.

Reagan Chester, 9, of Tallahassee is among hundreds of United Methodists of all ages who kick off Annual Conference 2013 by helping to package nutritious meals for people in need. Photo by Armando Rodriguez Jr.

Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) is an awesome organization and a partner of WesleyMen, but any act of feeding someone else who is without needs to be celebrated. All of our Wesleyan family are encouraged to share their efforts via our Contact Page. You don’t have to be sending food around the world. We want to celebrate any act of fighting hunger anywhere!

To see what the Florida Conference did you can visit their A Million Reasons campaign site. You can check out this archive article from their Conference website. For information on Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), and how with as few as 40 volunteers and $2900 you could be packaging food with our partner, visit their website.

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