Meals for Millions

Stop Hunger Now – The Million Meals for Hunger Program

The Assembly chose for its first community project a program that feeds the hungry. It is the Million Meals Program. The Million Meals program partners with Stop Hunger Now, a Raleigh, NC, group.

Chapel Hill, NC – April 21, 2007

Assembly members converged on the American Legion Post 6 Hall on Legion Road to join with others to package meals for the Stop Hunger Now project. Stop Hunger Now is sponsored by Rotarians International to provide food for use in their world-wide project to feed the Hungry. In North Carolina, the Rotarians call their one-year project Million Meals for Hunger.

Our knights were joined by their family members, parishioners and their children. The Divine Mercy Assembly was represented by over 50 people. This was one of the largest volunteer groups participating during this nine-hour project.. The Assembly also donated $1,000 to purchase 5,000 of the 171,000 meals packaged in Chapel Hill.

Yes, that is correct. Our goal was 175,000 meals and we produced 171,000 before the last gong was rung. This was also the largest number of meals made anywhere in the state. Each meal feeds six people and costs just 20 cents to produce. All meals are now on their way to Palestine, Liberia, Haiti, Guatemala, Bolivia and India.

Before this event, the largest number of meals produced in one day was at a Duke, NCCU, Durham Rotary event on January 17th. At that event, 155,404 meals were produced, breaking the Raleigh/Crabtree/Downtown record of 103,032 meals. We broke the standing record by nearly 16,000 meals.

“I cannot begin to express my pride in witnessing the sustained drive exhibited by all who were there. And, while we are justifiably proud in our efforts, I think the reward for us was in participating in a community event where children, parents,grandparents and the elderly in walkers drove themselves for two and a half hours without a break. The meals were made, weighed, sealed and boxed at an incredible speed of 1,000 units every three minutes,” wrote Lee Heavlin, Assembly Faithful Navigator. “I think Robert Troy said it best when he said to me, ‘Meetings and socials are nice, but this is the type of event that makes a difference. This is why I joined the Knights. I want to do something for the community.’ For a brand new Assembly, you have all done so much to light a fire of Hope and given of yourselves though your selfless acts of compassion and charity. I, for one, am very proud.”

More on this project

Stop Hunger Now locates and provides the food (rice, soup base, food supplements) and packaging to sponsoring groups. The groups in turn take components and make food packets that feed a family with one meal. Individual meals are a fully nutritious meal that can be cooked with limited resources (heat, a pot and water). Each meal costs about twenty cents to produce.

Divine Mercy Assembly provided a $1,000 grant to the project. The check for $1,000 was presented Rotary Club President Cynthia Crittenden and Gary Barnes, Project Chairman, at the February Rotary Club meeting. Assembly presenters are Lee Heavlin, Faithful Navigator, and John Felten, Assembly Project Chairman.

The Assembly partnered with the Chapel Hill Country Club Rotary, where Sir Knight John Felten is a member. The Rotary is one of four principal local sponsors for the April 21st event. The others are East Chapel Hill Rotary, Southwest Durham Rotary, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Dentistry. Sir Knight Dr. Gil Montoya, also serves as a teaching dentist at UNC.

The principal sponsors are assisted by other local groups. These groups are the Knights of Columbus Divine Mercy Assembly and Chapel of the Cross (sponsored by the Chapel Hill Country Club Rotary), and Girls on the Run (sponsored by East Chapel Hill Rotary). Each of the principal sponsors provided $4,000 each and and more than 195 volunteers.

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