Christ Our King Lutheran Church Partners with Kids Coalition Against Hunger for Annual Food Packing Event


Community members gathered together to pack over 40,000 meals for the Kids Coalition Against Hunger on Saturday at Christ Our King Lutheran Church. More than $14,000 were raised by the church members and community donors to make this annual packing event possible. Many local groups and organizations arrived to lend a helping hand, including Saline High School’s varsity hockey team, girl scout and boy scout troops, Saline Rotary Club, Steadfast Chiropractic, Cornerstone Real Estate and more.

“A third of the meals go to world hunger, a third goes to disaster relief, and a third is going to Monroe County Opportunity Program and The Lord’s Harvest Food Pantry,” said Steve Frederick, church council president and organizer for this yearly event.

“We ask for donations, and people step forward. A majority of the money comes from the church, but there are some donations that come from outside the church. We ask that people give as they are being led,” Frederick said.

“This is the greatest blessing of seeing the community come together and helping with a common goal for those who are in need.”

“We look forward to this event every year,” said Joseph Polzin, senior pastor at Christ Our King. “We’re so excited to see who turns out, and we always have so many great groups and people from the community and from the schools come, and we’re so thankful for that. It’s just an amazing time to get together to pack these meals and hopefully make a difference.”

Michael Burwell is the executive director of Kids Coalition Against Hunger. He told the group that in over ten years of hosting these packing events, this church has assembled over a quarter of a million meals to date.

“Today’s event is an awesome community event that we’ve been doing at Christ Our King for over ten years,” Burwell said. “When I first started, I remember we had 24 lines set up, and about 300 volunteers that came out. At that first event, we packaged ten thousand meals, and it was over in about twenty minutes.”

This year, 179 people came out on this Saturday morning to assist with the packing, haul heavy bags of supplies to tables, and box and stack the bags of meals.

“Now, it’s kind of cool to see how it's evolved and to see different people from different places that have joined this event. Christ Our King has really gotten the whole community involved in this, and understands that our mission is really working together to help those that are in need.”

Packing teams lined tables and carefully measured amounts of soy, rice, vegetables and vitamin supplement into each bag. The bags are then sealed and carefully packed into boxes for later distribution. Teams encouraged each other, shouting “Bazinga!” when they met their goals.

“From the young to the old, you have people who are mentoring young people. They get a chance to talk to each other across the line,” Burwell said. “ They understand that the need is great out there, and we can help people not only in our own community but those around the world. They do an awesome job.”

Boxed meals are stored in warehouses and distributed as the need arises.

“The one third that will go international will probably go to Guatemala. Another third will go to disaster relief. Wherever there is an earthquake or hurricane or some other disaster, we are actually able to send meals from events like this,” Burwell said.

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All photos provided by Heidi McClelland Photography.

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