JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It was a busy day for members of St. John’s Cathedral who packed 10,000 meals for Jacksonville kids in need.
The church teamed up with the local group Hunger Fight on Sunday, a nonprofit that fights to end hunger and illiteracy among local children.
The meals were packed assembly-line style in three types: Beans-N-Rice, Cheezy Mac and Brown Sugar Oatmeal.
All of the food came straight from farmers across the country and was sorted, measured and weighed to support healthy eating.
“Well, Jesus fed people,” said Kate Moorehead, the dean of St. John’s Cathedral. “That’s one of the major things that He did. I think all Christians feel called to feed people. There’s a lot of hunger in our city. It’s really surprising to many, but there’s a lot of hunger.”
Around 75 volunteers took part, including Mike Swann, who has participated in multiple packing events.
“We’re blessed to have food when we want it,” Swann said. “A lot of people don’t.”
Organizers say the event also helps get more kids excited about reading.
Lynn Doiron is the chairperson of the outreach council at St. John’s Cathedral.
“What our money is paying for is not only 10,000 meals but also 400 books for elementary school children to put in their own personal library at home,” Doiron said. “Having your own books at home is a big deal, and a lot of children don’t have that.”
Hunger Fight was founded in 2012 by Sherri Porter and is headquartered in Jacksonville.
The group said that 25% of the funding for the packing events like this one benefit their literacy goals.
They target kids ages 0-5 in areas known as book deserts.
Hunger Fight broke down how many of our youngest neighbors are affected by poverty.
- Duval County: 44,200 students.
- Clay County: 9,300 students
- Putnam County: 4531 students.
- St. Johns County: 3,091 students
- Nassau County: 2526 students
According to Hunger Fight, the meals are delivered in a four-servings package that offers serving suggestions in multiple languages, including English.
Each meal can be supplemented with meat, vegetables, chicken or fish to meet cultural and taste preferences.
“There’s a lot of division and darkness in the world right now,” Moorehead said. “It’s important to remind people that many are good, and many want to share their blessings with others.”
The meals will be given out on a weekly basis to Title I schools.
Hunger Fight says its programs address two of the most important issues that impact the success of children in school: hunger and illiteracy.
“We know that nothing changes without these important conversations,” Doiron said.
To host a packing event, CLICK HERE.
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