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Local church teams up with non-profit to provide meals to those in need

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BATON ROUGE - Members of a local church have teamed up with a global non-profit to help children and families a world away.

University United Methodist Church on LSU's campus is working with Rise Against Hunger, which provides food to people in about 78 countries who desperately need the help.

"About five years ago, one of our congregation members learned about this mission and thought our congregation would want to give it a try," said the Rev. Katie Simpson, the church's senior pastor.

People across the U.S. are involved in the efforts, with more than 400,000 volunteers participating in meal-packaging events every year.

Each bag contains six servings of nutritious, non-perishable meals that help to sustain lives.

Simpson said that since their church signed up five years ago, members have packed more than 48,000 meals.

"It's a beautiful thing because every event that we've had, you have 7-year-olds and 70-year-olds that are leaning in and putting in a little bit of their heart and elbow grease in to be able to make this happen," Simpson said.

She calls it an inter-generational way of teaching mission and service in the community. But it's been on hold since the start of pandemic restrictions.

That changes Saturday, when volunteers will once again gather at the church -- pink hair nets and all -- to do what they can to reduce hunger around the world.

"We hope that y'all come out on Saturday, or at least pray for us," Simpson said.

Set-up for the meal packaging at the church at 3350 Dalrymple Drive starts at 9 a.m., and packing begins at 10 a.m. Volunteers are invited to join the event any time they're available to lend a helping hand.


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