Columbus Ministries packed 80,000 meals for Haiti

LINCOLN, Nebraska (Nebraska) — 1C The Sanctuary was a packing day for the Columbus Community Haiti Project, which means kids in Haiti will soon be getting thousands of meals.

When you come to the event, you might mistake it for a dance party, but more than 300 people showed up for more than just entertainment.

“It’s amazing,” volunteer Evan Boggs said. “You know, it just shows everyone how to have a good time and just help the kids. that’s all that matters now.”

They were there to help the Mission of Hope pack 80,000 food bags, enough to feed 400 children for an entire year.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the support of the community,” said Jim Thelen, pastor at 1C The Sanctuary. “We have companies, individuals who have said that I want to do my part to change the lives of people in Haiti.”

Divided into tables, the volunteers put rice, soy, vitamins and dehydrated vegetables into bags. During the day the volunteers got into a rhythm.

“As they got used to it and knew their role, it sped up, sped up, sped up,” said Chris Wagner, event co-coordinator. “And then you even see people move their hips a bit to keep momentum going.”

Some organizers, such as Lonnie Anderson, have been inspired to help children in Haiti by personal experiences of uncertainty and poverty.

“I’m the youngest of eleven,” Anderson said. “Some of my older siblings and my mom didn’t eat to make sure all eleven of us were fed.”

This event comes as the Haitian government is increasingly in ruins, with gangs holding territory across the country, including most of the capital.

The United Nations has said a record 4.7 million people are facing acute hunger, and Saturday’s event organizers said they hope to help alleviate the situation in any way possible.

The Columbus Community Haiti project already has dates scheduled for 2024, with a food packaging fundraiser in February and a Packing Day on April 6th.

Residents of Columbus and other cities gathered on Saturday for a service to pack food bags for children in Haiti, a country facing a severe problem of hunger. (John Greenwalds)

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