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Church volunteers help feed thousands of area families for the holidays | Community Spirit

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Church volunteers help feed thousands of area families for the holidays
Church volunteers help feed thousands of area families for the holidays

GREENVILLE, Mich.--  Thousands of struggling families in Montcalm County are getting meals in time for Thanksgiving, thanks to a team of Greenville area churches.

Pastor Jeff Wilhelm says more than 150 people helped package more than 20,000 meals as part of a Kids Against Hunger event Saturday, November 23.  Kids Against Hunger typically keeps one-third of the prepared meals within the community, then ships out the rest to areas recovering from disaster; however Wilhelm says the organization agreed to keep two-thirds of the meals in Montcalm County this time, because of the high poverty rate and great need. 

Wilhelm says Saturday’s food packaging event replaced the annual ecumenical church service, which has had a dwindling turnout in recent years.  He says the response was great, with people as young as seven and as old as 70 helping out.

“This was really a great event that brought together people of all ages and all denominations to help address the need to combat hunger in our community and around the world as well,” said Wilhelm.

It took volunteers just two hours to put together the meals, which consist of a highly nutritious, dehydrated rice casserole that can feed six people or more.  The packaged food went to about a dozen area food banks.

The food packaging event was financially underwritten by Thrivent Financial.  Local church groups and organizations also donated to the event, surpassing the fundraising goal.  Wilhelm says the additional funding will go towards another food packaging event in spring.

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