Local church packs 20,000 meals for community members in need
A local church in Chattanooga is giving the word "service" a new meaning.
Members of the congregation at Rivermont Presbyterian Church spent the day packing thousands of meals into boxes for food insecure families.
"Rivermont Presbyterian is packaging 10,000 macaroni and cheese meals and also 10,000 red beans and rice meals for the food insecure of Chattanooga and the surrounding areas," said volunteer John Guthrie Jr.
Instead of sitting in service this morning and afternoon, church members spent this Sunday standing in service to the community.
"We hear about problems over and over again and then we discuss it and talk about what's wrong but to be active and actually do something about it is uplifting and encouraging," Reverend Clay Thomas told Channel 3.
Putting the words of a sermon into action, they packed thousands of meals for people in the area unsure of when their next one may come.
"This is a reminder that we can come together and there are still hungry people in our community and we can do something about it," Reverend Thomas said.
Volunteer John Guthrie Jr. says the task wasn't easy, but it was worth it.
"There was a lot of work involved but it gives me such a good feeling...feeding those people out there that are really in need of help and food and that's the joy of it," he explained.
Reverend Thomas says it was important for them that the meals they packed were not only hardy--but also healthy.
"These macaroni meals and bean meals are nutritious so the ingredients they use, there's no chemicals or additives," he said.
But what was even more important was the number of people they'd be impacting.
"Each meal feeds six people, so now we're talking about feeding over 120,000 people in our community," Thomas added.
They didn't reach their goal this year of 23,000 meals, but they are challenging other churches to join them in their efforts next year. Meals they packed went to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
This was the third consecutive year the church's outreach group has put on this event.