‘Stop Hunger Now’ — a local response to world hunger

Published 3:23 pm Thursday, October 15, 2015

We have all seen the TV images of starving children.  We have heard about the statistics, of the thousands of people who die every day from hunger-related illnesses.  For those of us in the church we know of Jesus’ call to feed the hungry, for in so doing we feed Him.

But in the face of all of that it can be easy to be numbed by the need. In the face of the enormity of the problem, what can one person do?  And aren’t there so many other needs, some of them close to home?

Every year a group of folks gather at Farmville Presbyterian Church to participate in Stop Hunger Now. This is a Raleigh, N.C., based organization that seeks to involve many people in reaching out to others in faraway places in providing something to eat. On Oct. 24 a truck will pull into our parking lot with large bags of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and flavoring mix.  These products contain 23 essential vitamins and minerals combined with a small meat package. People will carefully measure each item so that just the right amount goes into every packet. That packet will be enough food to provide six meals for one person.

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It may not sound like very much, but last year in about two hours we packed enough food to provide over 10,000 meals. This year we hope to provide 15,000 meals. It doesn’t completely solve the world hunger crisis, but it sends a message that the church of Jesus Christ continues to care about starving people.  Rather than sitting around wringing our hands in despair, we chose to do something about it.

This isn’t just something that we at Farmville Presbyterian do. We join with members of ten other Presbyterian churches in our area, along with students from Hampden-Sydney College and the Discovery School in Buckingham County to work together, to laugh together, to dream together of touching people with the love of Jesus through food.

We are also aware that other churches – like the Farmville United Methodist Church – also participate in this program.  There are others who join with other agencies to feed people.  Why?

When Jesus saw a large group of people coming to hear his message, he asked his disciples how they were going to feed them. Maybe we should just send them away so they can get food on their own, they said. But Jesus told them, “You give them something to eat.”  Don’t pass the buck.  You do it.  We believe our Lord is still telling us to do that.

REV. DR. TOM ROBINSON is pastor of Farmville Presbyterian Church. His email address is robin216@embarqmail.com.