Volunteers with Unity Church of Greenville, North Carolina, a Free Will Baptist congregation, packing 50,000 meals for those in need in Zambia on Oct. 29-30, 2021. | Courtesy Unity Church
A Baptist congregation in North Carolina packed 50,000 meals over the course of two days to help the needy in Zambia.
The Greenville-based Unity Church, which belongs to the National Association of Free Will Baptists, organized volunteers to pack 50,000 meals on Friday and Saturday.
Kevin Justice, pastor of worship and administration at Unity Church, told The Christian Post that the idea for the charitable event came from their senior pastor.
“Lead Pastor Jeff Manning realized a renewed burden to allow the Lord to work through our congregation to ‘do something’ that impacts our community and the world for Christ,” Justice said.
“In researching various outreach opportunities, he found Kids Around the World, a nonprofit based in the Chicago area. One of their programs, OneMeal, provides a turnkey system for groups to pack meals to be sent to centers around the world that feed children and share the message of the Gospel.”
The meals, which were packed over the weekend, were picked up from the church on Monday to be shipped to the Chicago area and, from there, to Zambia.
According to Justice, the 50,000 meals will be sent to a center in Zambia that is overseen by the OneMeal program that provides an estimated 14,000 meals a day to children in need.
Justice told CP that he hoped that, by participating in the charitable event, his congregation would develop “a desire to make a difference in our world by meeting needs and sharing the Gospel,” “a realization that God can accomplish great things and allows us to be a part of the process,” and “a sense of community while we serve together.”
Although this was the first time that Unity Church had done such a charitable event, many churches across the United States have done similar meal-packing efforts.
For example, Hope City Church of Joplin, Missouri, packed 40,000 meals at an event last December on behalf of the charity Watered Gardens Ministries.
“In a season where it can be easy to give our attention and focus to things, we wanted to focus on people. Instead of having a typical worship gathering, we spent most of our time packing meals that will help feed hungry families,” Walker said.
“We know everyone needs two things: food and hope. We hope these meals will be able to provide both for people who need to know they are not forgotten or alone. Our people at Hope City know we are all in the same boat and serving others is at the heart of the Gospel.”