Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Servant event helps those close to home and abroad

May 18, 2013 06:52 PM


Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School (LuHi) started its annual Meal Packing Event as a response to the earthquake in Haiti that claimed the life of one of their teacher’s husbands. Karen Klose, a member of Our Redeemer, Seaford and mother of two LuHi students at the time, was so moved by the stories coming out of Haiti that she volunteered to be an event coordinator and got her congregation involved. "I knew I had to be part of this," said Klose.


On April 11-13, LuHi hosted its third Meal Packing Event and this was the largest such servant event yet. Over 1,200 volunteers from the school, local Lutheran congregations, and community organizations came to package soy, rice, dried vegetables, and seasoning mix to prepare nutritionally-balanced meals. The meal packets were then distributed to Island Harvest, The Inn (Hempstead), St. Hugh’s (Huntington Station), St. Patrick’s (Huntington), Our Lady of Grace (Howard Beach), the Freeport Emergency Food Pantry, and other local food pantries in need. Additional meal packets are being shipped to the Andrew Grene School outside of Port au Prince, Haiti, an official feeding site that will prepare and serve the food to children in need. In total, 310,044 meals were packed over the three-day period and over $80,000 was raised!


DSCN0576This year, Our Redeemer sent 40 confirmation students, along with adult chaperones, to help on a Thursday night in place of their regular class. "It was especially rewarding this year as most of the food went to help local food banks which have had an increase in their need due to Hurricane Sandy," said Klose. "Our church had about 30 families directly affected by the storm, some of whom are still displaced. This made it very real for our students."


At the end of each two-hour packing session, coordinators would gather the volunteers together and tell them how many meals they had packed and how many people it would feed. "We then would say a prayer all together, blessing the people who would receive it," said Klose. "It was an awesome experience and one I will remember for a long time."




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