The recent food packing event for Ecuador that CFC held in partnership with Kids Around the World was a terrific way to Think Global and Act Local. Thank you to all the volunteers who made it easy and fun to pack 50,000 meals that will go to our friends in Ecuador.  Read more to see why they came…

“Feed my corn!” he says as he holds a new bag under the yellow funnel for the rest of his group to fill with rice, lentils, vegetables, and nutrients. He continues on with “We’re the mature adult group. Well, I’m not mature, but that’s what they call us.” Lauren laughs as she goes on to share about her experience distributing these same packets of meals in Nicaragua some time ago. Lauren is a medical missionary that has been a part of CFC for quite some time. She’s just one of the many blessings to help at this food packing event today. This time the meals being packed will be going to Ecuador!

1 in 7 kids in the world suffers from the effects of food insecurity, living in a chronic state of malnutrition. Together with the Kids Around the World organization, we were able to pack 50,000 meals for children in Ecuador through their OneMeal food packs. Each bag serves up to 6 meals. Today, these highly nutritious meals were packed by around 200 volunteers consisting of both CFC attendees and neighbors in the community. How inspiring it was to see such eagerness on a Saturday morning as everyone donned in hair nets and gloves waited patiently for instructions to get started.

The smiles, laughter, and selfies from various groups was a direct reflection of God’s love and begged the question “what brings them here today?” “It’s something we can do as a family” says the mother of our youngest volunteer clocking in at a ripe 5 years old who stretched her hands out to let us know the gloves were too big for her little hands. For some like Lady, packing food for children in Ecuador hit closer to home. Lady is from Venezuela and with Ecuador being nearby, she felt compelled to help her neighbors. For some, it was because they knew what it was like to fall on hard times and wanted to step in to help these kids in need. “It’s all about the kids!” said a group of teachers from Round Hill elementary wearing matching shirts as they served together as a group.

Some of the men who took a trip to Guatemala recently were gathered around a table assembling food packs sharing how they were able to see first hand what it’s like for some of these impoverished families and for that reason they knew they needed to help. You might remember some of these guys from the taco in a bag event! What a blessing to serve God one meal at a time. “It’s fun to pack food!” , “I just wanna help people!”, and “I don’t want anyone to be hungry” are why some of our younger volunteers came to help.

There were many youth volunteering ranging in ages 7-12 that came out with their families, to include a lovely set of twins in all smiles helping Mom and Dad place bags into boxes for quality assurance. While many of our volunteers have been attending CFC for the past 10-30 years, we did have some newer faces at this event too. Some heard about the event from their Alliance club and were very appreciative that CFC would allow the community to come and help fill this need. Another volunteer shared how they appreciated faith based organizations providing support for these needs as the impact widens addressing not just the physical need, but the spiritual need as well. “Getting to be a part of the process to help long term” was the appeal for him.

“I’m always here!” said Frank. Just one of the many volunteers that help at CFC as often as they can. Some faces were recognizable from the cafe if you’ve ever gone for a cup of coffee one Sunday. I call them volunteer enthusiasts. You know those people that just can’t get enough of serving? You know the kind of people I’m talking about! In the end, “It’s the right thing to do!” was the consensus of many that came out and I can’t argue that! What’s neat about the families receiving these meal packs is the creativity that has come from it. Some families make protein shakes with some of the ingredients, while some families make bread, soups, and even tacos from these same meal packs! It’s also pretty common for these families to throw in additional spices as they prepare to have some of the ingredients accompany other foods.

The average impoverished family we are supporting consists of about 3-6 in Ecuador. Relying on the same meals every day can start to feel repetitive after a while and it’s great to see just how creative these families can be in getting the most out of the OneMeal packs. It’s not just children that are being fed, though. These meals are great for feeding the elderly as well with how easy they are to prepare.

Matthew 25:35 says “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” and that’s what happened today at CFC. Someone said “It’s easier to concentrate on bible study with a full belly!” and this foodie fully agrees!