Although the workshop was organized by the OCSJM, this hands-on volunteer event was a collaboration between Catholic Relief Services and Stop Hunger Now. Stop Hunger Now arrived on Sunday morning with a huge truck, carrying all of the meal-packaging materials. Catholic Relief Services offered the educational resources and will be delivering the meals to CRS partners in the West African nation Burkina Faso.
This tactile event enables people in America to hear the stories of their brothers and sisters in Burkina and, in a way, to spend time with them as they package the meals. There is a sense of solidarity, an opportunity not to "break bread together," but to create and share a meal none-the-less. In doing so, the students truly showed that they were acting on the Catholic Youth Spectacular theme of "Affirming Life."
Helping Hands provides for one of the most basic needs of the people in Burkina, relieving chronic hunger and malnutrition. Responding first to the immediate need of hunger through their meal program, Catholic Relief Services can then begin to work with the Burkinabe to implement more sustainable farming practices and help cultivate the landAt the Catholic Youth Spectacular, Archbishop Mansell joined us in meal packing at his station, adding soy cereal to his group's packages. During Mass, he reflected on this experience saying, "There is hope because of what you did today and what you will continue to do in joy."
Helping Hands Program Facts
- Each meal package costs $0.50
- One meal package feeds 6 people
- With the help of 60 volunteers, your group can package 10,000 meals within a half day program
- For $5,000, you could feed 60,000 people!