More than fifty members of several faith groups worked side by side to package meals for the world’s hungry. Through a grant from the NC Conference Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Relations, Stop Hunger Now and the Triangle Interfaith Alliance (TIA) joined forces to fight hunger by holding a meal packaging event in August that brought together several different faith groups. Packagers included representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American and Sai Baba.
TIA seeks to promote understanding, tolerance and respect among all faith groups in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas of North Carolina. Members represent diverse faith groups including Baha’i, Christian, Jain, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jew, Native American, Sikh, Meher Baba, as well as those with no particular affiliation interested in interfaith work. One of the TIA’s leaders, Elise Strevel, said, “It’s great! It’s amazing so many steps are organized by those who have never done it.”
Together, volunteers packaged 10,000 meals benefiting Stop Hunger Now’s vision of creating a world free from hunger.
One-third of the meals were delivered to Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM). HOM is a Christian mission that focuses on extremely impoverished areas in and near Port au Prince. All U.S. staff are volunteers. They work with Mission Communautaire de l’Eglise Chretienne des Cites (MICECC) to operate three primary schools with more than 1,200 students from pre-K to 6th grade. They also support 300 students in secondary schools and 28 students in colleges and universities. They work holistically in impoverished communities to provide for basic needs, education, medical care and spiritual guidance. Their programs have had a tremendous effect on the children, with teachers reporting that the children have gained weight, are healthier and are more attentive after beginning to eat Stop Hunger Now meals.
The remaining two-thirds of the meals packaged by TIA volunteers shipped to the Dominican Republic to support Stop Hunger Now partner CitiHope International. With 42% of the population living below the poverty line, food shortage is prevalent throughout the Dominican Republic. CitiHope supports sustainable educational and development programs that empower locals to create strong, self-sufficient communities.
CitiHope’s Dominican Republic country director, Tim Tuccelli, asserted:
“We consider this not to be ‘charity’ but a real investment in humanity. The school and orphanage programs help our country so much by creating a future of responsible citizens that contribute to the improvement of our society. These children come from families that cannot supply even one meal a day for their children and don’t understand the purpose of education. So the motivation comes from the food. These Stop Hunger Now meals & donations are a defining component that heals a nation, multi-dimensionally.”
Thanks to TIA’s continued community outreach, people of all faiths are breaking barriers and breaking bread to create a more peaceful, just and hungerless world. “Stop Hunger Now is honored to facilitate and play a small role in their efforts,” Steve Hickle, Faith Outreach Director.