Volunteers pack 100,000 meals at Calvary Wesleyan

HARRINGTON – Calvary Wesleyan Church Lead Pastor Ken Figgs was given $20 at McDonald’s the other day, but it wasn’t for a Big Mac.

“While I was there, I was telling some people that it was just $.25 per meal and someone handed me a $20 and said, ‘I just want to help feed people,’” he said.

volunteers1100,000 of the $.25 meals he referred to were packed at his church, Calvary Wesleyan Church in Harrington, Saturday to be shipped to refugee camps in the Middle East through GAIN, or the Global Aid Network.

Camden resident Kelly Baker enjoyed helping during the event for her second year in a row, although the church has held the event for six years now.

She joined almost 400 others in packing and preparing the meals consisting of rice and lentils.

“I couldn’t imagine not wondering where my next meal would be coming from so if volunteering just a few hours of my life benefits someone else in the long run then it’s well worth it,” Ms. Baker said.

Pastor Figgs said the event draws people from Harrington and surrounding areas alike.

“It takes a lot of community help. We don’t want it to be something Calvary does; It’s a community event,” he said.

Volunteers worked to fill plastic bags with rice or lentils before the bags were packed into boxes, ready to be shipped.

Executive Pastor Curtis Cecil said the volunteers were split up into two shifts at around 150 people per shift; helping to feed a family of five for one month per packed box.

“I have seven kids. We can’t wait to pack along with them so when they get upset that they didn’t get the pizza they wanted, they can remember this,” Pastor Cecil said.

The event at Calvary Wesleyan Church has been going strong for six years, but began by completing 25,000 meals during its first year. Volunteers then packed 50,000 meals before growing to pack 100,000 meals just two years ago.

“We have done some crazy things, but it’s all to help those in need,” Pastor Figgs said, adding that the church recently hit the $1 million mark in missions related donations over the past ten years.

For volunteers like Ms. Baker, Saturday’s event was about more than helping others; it was also about getting the community together.

“I decided to help because I love finding different opportunities to help people. I think it’s great they offer the opportunity to anyone willing to help,” she said. “It’s also a way to meet other people I may not know. The ladies who worked at my table today were great. We laughed the whole time. It’s really a great experience.”

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