Volunteers from area churches and other organizations are joining forces on the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to pack food that will be used to feed hungry people across the world.
Sandra Wiggins is one of the event organizers and she said that over the course of four hours or so on Monday, Jan. 15, she expects to be able to pack 60,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger.
“We did 30,000 in about three or four hours last year,” Wiggins said on Monday’s TownTalk. “We know we can definitely hit this mark this year – we’re just really excited to do this…on Martin Luther King Day,” she said.
The Rise Against Hunger pack-a-thon will take place at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Wiggins represents The First Baptist Church of Henderson, but she said numerous churches and school groups from Henderson and Oxford are signed up to participate as well.
So far, the following groups are participating: First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, Henderson, South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church, Oxford Preparatory School, Flat Rock United Methodist Church, Fuller Chapel, Davis Chapel, South Henderson Church of God, Clearview Church and Cornerstone Christian Community Church. Wiggins said Vance Charter School and Oxford United Methodist Church plans to send volunteers as well.
“This is really a community event,” Wiggins said. About 100 people have signed up so far, and there’s still time to register – they need several hundred volunteers to sign up to work a two-hour shift. The first shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and the second shift is from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Participants should report to the civic center and sign in, and from there, they’ll head to a packing station where they will help measure out individual bags of rice, seasonings and vitamins.
Most of the food packs will be transported overseas, but Wiggins said some are kept here in the U.S. for use when disaster strikes.
Register or give online at events.riseagainsthunger.org/VGMLK24. There’s a $25,000 fundraising goal that goes along with the pack-a-thon. Wiggins said $45 provides 100 meals.
But the event is about more than packing nutritional food and sending it to impoverished areas across the world.
Wiggins said next week’s event also shines a light on two local organizations that work to fight hunger right here in Vance and Granville counties.
She invites all participants to the Rise Against Hunger event to bring canned goods or other non-perishable items to be delivered to ACTS and ACIM, the food bank in Oxford.
Wiggins shared one of her favorite quotes attributed to King, the slain Civil rights leader whose work is honored and remembered on Jan. 15.
“Love has to be put into action and that action is service,” Wiggins said, adding that “when we have the ability to do, we should.”