Volunteers Pack Food for 30,000 People During Kids Coalition Against Hunger Event at Christ Our King
Christ Our King Lutheran Church sponsored a meal packing event with Kids Coalition Against Hunger on Saturday, February 19. The event drew over 180 volunteers from the community, with 30,000 meals packed and ready for distribution.
“It’s an outreach to help those in need,” said Steve Frederick, president of the church council at Christ Our King. “We are packing 30,000 meals. We raised better than $10, 500 to pay for those meals. We are also providing lunch for the volunteers that are here today,” he said.
Frederick was happy to see so many groups and organizations from Saline participating this year.
“The Saline Rotary is here. Saline’s softball teams are here. I’ve seen Boy Scouts that are here. I’ve seen representatives from Saline’s Middle School and High School. I am extremely blessed, and I hope that everybody will have an opportunity to take part in it in the future and be as blessed as I am, and more.”
Michael Burwell has been the executive director of Kids Coalition Against Hunger since 2008. He has been encouraged by the growing number of volunteers that attend each year.
“This is probably the tenth or eleventh year that we’ve done this event here,” he said. “Every year, it seems like we get at least fifty percent more or newer volunteers that come and get a chance to see the church and get a chance to serve together. These people come from all over the community and they’ve really gathered here today to be a blessing to someone else.”
Food packing had been a challenge during the pandemic, but Burwell is hopeful that more events can take place in the future.
“The last eighteen months have been very quiet for us. We really didn’t pick up doing events until about August of this past year. Once they lifted the mask mandates and the size of crowds, we were able to function again. Many hands make light work. The more people you have, the easier this goes, and the more mouths we can feed.”
All 30,000 meals were packed in less than two hours. The meals then get packaged and boxed, with one third of the meals staying local.
“These meals obviously go locally. Monroe is the local agency that will get them from here,” Burwell explained. “The second third will go to one of the 23 countries that we sponsor globally. The final third will be saved for disaster relief.”
Joseph Polzin, senior pastor at Christ Our King Lutheran Church, was in attendance with his family, working with community members to bag and seal the rice, vegetables, soy and vitamin mix for distribution.
“I am blown away by how many people are here, and not just here, but with smiles on their faces and excited to be together,” Polzin observed.
“I think this is just an amazing opportunity. You see how many people are here, and what so many people coming together can accomplish by having a shared goal,” he said. “Just to be able to help people that, sure, we may not have met them, but they are still our neighbor in need. And we want to share God’s love with them.”
“It’s a blessing to be a blessing to someone else. I’m just proud to do it,” he said.
“We’ve been around for many years. We’ve probably packaged close to 55 million meals, with a little over 525, 000 volunteers here in Michigan. We are looking forward to the point when we can get back in the community and package more meals,” he said.
For more information, visit www.kidscoalitionagainsthunger.org.
(special thanks to Heidi McClelland Photography)