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On Sunday, a group of more than 225 local residents will be spending part of their day providing meals to those in need from Houston to Haiti, as well as the Fremont community.

The group, made up of mostly the congregation of the First Lutheran Church, is partnering with non-profit organization Kids Against Hunger to package and send more than 40,000 meals to those in need all over the world.

“It’s a huge event,” Alison Zuch, organizer and member of First Lutheran Church, said. “Some of the food will go overseas and some of the meals will be sent to help in Houston right now.”

Kids Against Hunger is an international nonprofit organization with the mission of eradicating world hunger. The organization works toward this goal with the packaging of a vitamin-fortified soy-rice casseroles by volunteers at numerous locations within the USA, Canada, and the Middle East, and the distribution of those meals to starving children and their families in 70 countries through partnerships with humanitarian organizations worldwide.

The project is part of the church’s annual kick off to start the school year, another similar event in years past is Operation Christmas Child. Last year the church collected 2,051 gift-filled shoeboxes for kids across the world.

“We take up a big project once a year to start off our Sunday school year and then we continue throughout the year with stuff that goes along with that theme,” Zuch said.

During the event there will be two shifts of volunteers actually packing the meals, which will be soy and rice dishes, inside the church’s new Mission Center on East Military Avenue.

One shift will work from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and a second will complete the rest of the packaging of 43,000 meals from noon to 1 p.m.

“We wanted to know how many meals we could make and 40,000 is a huge number and at first I was like, ‘I dont know if we can do this’,” Zuch said. “It sounded like an impossible number, but we are only going to be packing for two hours.”

Along with sending meals as a relief effort for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and those in hunger around the world, 5,000 of the packaged meals will be staying in Fremont.

The event also serves as a service project for the confirmation class at the church, and allows for the entire congregation to get together and doing something positive said Zuch.

“Its a cross generational event so it is a great fellowship thing for everybody and anyone from 8 to 108 can participate so it should be a fun thing for the entire congregation,” she said. “It’s just a great thing to do when so many people need food in the world.”

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