God's Work / Our Hands - Sunday, September 13

Let's Get Our Hands Busy For Our Community: Sunday, September 13, 2015

We had an amazing event! Over 230 volunteers raised $12,000 dollars to package 41,124 meals. The volunteers came from all over Bergen County and Rockland County (NY), representing 8 different Lutheran churches, five high schools, and more. We could not have pulled this off without your support. Thank you for helping us battle food insecurity in our neighborhood! View photos of the event on Facebook here.

God's Work/Our Hands Sunday is a national day of service sponsored by our denomination, the ELCA. Churches all over the country will be serving their communities in visible ways. We're partnering with Outreach Inc. and other Lutheran churches in the area to feed families and children in Bergen County. On Sunday, September 13 from 1 to 5 pm, we're packaging Fortified Mac & Cheese meals. You won't want to miss this amazing event. 

Q: What is the event like?

Outreach Inc. provides all the raw materials to package these meals. We supply volunteers and fundraising. On the day of the event, long tables are placed nose-to-nose, forming a station where up to 12 volunteers gather to put the right amount of macaroni, cheese packets, and soy protein into 12.5 oz packages. Each package feeds 6 (we tested and it really does feed six), with 36 packages to a box. These boxes will be picked up by Outreach and shipped to CFA. Volunteers sign up for a 2 hour shift that includes training, refreshments, and work on the line. The age range to participate is from early elementary school through 92. There is something for everyone!   

Q: Why This Mac & Cheese?

Mac & Cheese is one of the most popular items at food pantries. Kids (and families) love them. But unlike store bought Mac & Cheese, the kind we'll be packaging is fortified with 20 essential vitamins including Vitamin A, B12, C, and E. It's filled with protein and is only a faction of what a box at the store would cost. If we just donated money, CFA could only buy enough for 20,000 meals. With the food we're providing, families eat better and the CFA can feed more people than they could otherwise. 

Q: Who benefits?

We’re planning to give the meals to the Center for Food Action who will give these meals to families in our area and county. This is one way we can continue to fight hunger in our community while we continue to advocate for an end to all hunger in Northern Bergen County. We benefit by feeling good, knowing we’re taking the first of many necessary steps to end hunger here in Bergen County.

Q: How to help? 
1. Signup to volunteer here or tell Pastor Marc you want to be a part of this event.

2. Donate! Each meal costs $0.25 to put together and a package of six costs $1.50. 36 packages make a box. For $54 dollars, you can provide food to 216 people. Instead of taking the family to Chili’s or Applebees this week, donate to this program. Checks should be made out to Outreach Inc. with “Christ Lutheran Church” or “God’s Work/Our Hands” in the memo field. Send your checks to Christ Lutheran Church and we'll make sure they get to where they need to go!  

3. Pray for us and the hungry in Northern New Jersey. Let’s do what we can to make sure no one goes hungry in our neighborhoods.

Pastor Jon Wills of Advent in Wycoffe, who hosted the same event in January where over 92,000 meals were donated to the CFA, shared: "You had teenagers working alongside retirees who were laughing and smiling. It was people coming together from all walks of life. People who were working the assembly line actually stopped what they were doing to make a contribution, which meant we could make more meal packages,. It was a miracle of ‘loaves and fishes."

God's Work, Our Hands. Join us!