This touching note from meal packaging host, Barney Hale, to meal packaging hosts at Good Shepherd UMC came across our desks at Stop Hunger Now. By encouraging and cheering on those who are taking action, we are steadily building momentum and gaining ground in the fight against hunger. Witnessing the unwavering determination and camaraderie of our donors and volunteers, we are often reminded of the concise African saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Together, we are confident that we can end hunger for every man, woman, and child on our planet.
The Guatemala Mission Team from the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church in Cary, North Carolina has been making trips twice a year to the village of Pala in the mountains of Guatemala. We have been doing so on a regular basis since 2008. Pala is a village of Mayans, the indigenous people of Guatemala. Their isolation and low social status within the country has created a condition of poverty, very limited education, and very little hope for economic opportunities outside of being agricultural workers.
The Kirk chose to “adopt” the village as an international mission initiative and began to develop a series of programs that would provide a holistic approach to the issues of education, community health and economic development. One of the programs implemented was a school lunch program, in which we serve as a partner to Stop Hunger Now. Four days a week, every child attending school gets a warm and nutritious meal provided to them.
Our team was in Pala this past week and observed lunch being served to a multitude of elementary school age kids. The Stop Hunger Now food boxes were labeled as being packaged by Good Shepherd United Methodist Church of Charlotte, NC. The purpose of this email is to confirm to your congregation that the meals were ultimately delivered to the village of Pala and provided as intended.
But, I also want your congregation to understand the impact the meals are having. Having known and observed the kids over a period of about 2 years in which the Stop Hunger Now lunch program has been in place, I have observed that the children just look better. Their eyes are a little brighter, their hair glossier and their skin clearer. And the kids just seem happier. The teachers in the local school tell us that enrollment has increased, attendance is more consistent, student performance has improved, and behavior problems have declined.
So on behalf of the Kirk Guatemala Mission team, and I’m sure the entire Stop Hunger Now organization would feel the same, thank you for the support. Thank you for the effort it took to organize and package the meals and for the financial support you provided. It is making a difference.