Stop Hunger NowCould you spare a quarter? One quarter equals one nourishing meal for a hungry child. Last year, Barton College, the Wilson area Rotary Clubs, and the Wilson community raised enough funds to support the packaging of 25,000 meals for children through the STOP HUNGER NOW project. For the third consecutive year, Barton College is teaming with the Wilson Rotary Club, churches, and other organizations to raise $12,500 to double last year’s goal and produce 50,000 meals during the on-campus packaging event scheduled for April 29.

The honorable C. Bruce Rose, mayor of the city of Wilson, has proclaimed the month of April as STOP HUNGER NOW MONTH, and he has urged “all citizens in the City of Wilson, all civic and fraternal organizations, all educational associations, all news media, and other community organizations to join in this project by encouraging and promoting fundraising efforts as the Wilson community raises funds needed to help feed 50,000 people in impoverished areas of the world.”

Established in 1998 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., STOP HUNGER NOW is a non-profit, international relief organization committed to ending hunger worldwide. STOP HUNGER NOW leads ongoing efforts to feed the hungry in more than 71 countries around the world by providing direct emergency food and other life-saving aid to crisis areas.

Creating its meal-packaging program in 2005, the program has perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packages. Each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf life of five years, and transports quickly.

So, just how are these 50,000 quarters for 50,000 meals being raised this year? The Barton College Student Government Association has spearheaded a number of opportunities including a Wing-eating Contest held at Buffalo Wild Wings on March 4. On March 25, Barton’s SGA partnered with Chick-fil-A to raise funds during the dinner hours and, on April 8, the second annual Barton College / Dick’s Hot Dog Dash (or Walk) will return by popular demand to raise additional monies through sponsorships. Barton SGA members have also distributed small collection boxes to faculty, staff, and students to keep on their desks for spare change that will be added to the fundraising efforts each week as the STOP HUNGER NOW packaging event approaches.

Area churches are also designating STOP HUNGER NOW Sundays; they are sharing literature about the STOP HUNGER NOW project and including donation envelopes in the Sunday bulletins and distributing small collection boxes to members. Area churches that have already signed up to participate include: First Christian Church, First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Forest Hills Presbyterian Church, Wilson Praise and Worship, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Wilson Rotary Club has made a generous donation of $2,500, and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Commission of Wilson has also made a significant donation. To date, over $4,000 has been raised.

This year, there’s another new option for giving to this worthwhile cause. Online giving to the Wilson-sponsored STOP HUNGER NOW project is available by clicking on the STOP HUNGER NOW button on the Barton College web site at http://www.barton.edu. This is an easy way to make a donation of any amount automatically to help feed hungry children across the world.

The mission of the STOP HUNGER NOW organization is to provide the maximum amount of food and life saving aid to the maximum number of the most poor and hungry throughout the world in the most rapid, efficient, and effective manner. STOP HUNGER NOW has become an international leader in humanitarian relief with the distribution of more than $66 million dollars of direct aid and more than 20 million meals.

STOP HUNGER NOW works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals. The majority of STOP HUNGER NOW’s meals supply school lunch programs. This process for distribution, through school feeding programs in hunger-stricken regions, is seen as a practical means to end hunger. And, because of the ease of assembly and transport, these meals can be shipped to areas in crisis.

For more information about the STOP HUNGER NOW project or to find out how your local organization and/or church can participate, please contact Lynne Medlin at 399-6544 or email: lmedlin@barton.edu.

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Questions? Contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.

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