Smithfield Herald

Stop Hunger Now campaign aims for 70,000 meals

Russell Cotton, left, and Tim Ricks, center, help load a Stop Hunger Now truck at Hocutt Baptist Church on Jan. 28, 2012.
Russell Cotton, left, and Tim Ricks, center, help load a Stop Hunger Now truck at Hocutt Baptist Church on Jan. 28, 2012. FILE PHOTO

Tom Ricks wants to package 70,000 Stop Hunger Now meals on Saturday.

Local churches and civic groups have been raising money to pay for the food. Now, volunteers will help Ricks package the meals to send to people in need.

Anyone interested in helping package meals can go to Everett Chapel Free Baptist Church from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The church is at 307 Everett Ave.

Ricks, a Clayton resident and Rotarian, has led the push in recent years to raise money for the local Stop Hunger Now campaign. He’s not yet sure where the food will go, but in past years, the meals have gone to families in Haiti and to orphanages.

Once the churches and civic groups tell him their total donation tallies, Ricks will order the meals to pack. At this point, he’s not certain he’ll hit his goal, but “you never know,” he said.

“The only two things I have going are faith and trust that it’s going to work out,” Ricks said. “And it always works out.”

Raleigh-based Stop Hunger Now delivers millions of meals each year to people throughout the world. About seven years ago, Ricks said, he pushed his church, Horne Memorial United Methodist, to start taking part in a local drive.

He went on to encourage other churches and civic groups to give. They raised the most money in 2012, when 51 churches and groups sent more than 200,000 meals to needy families in Haiti.

Ricks said he’s invited 17 churches to take part this year.

“Everybody is invited to the packaging event,” Ricks said. “People can just show up and package meals.”

Monetary donations may also be made at the packaging event. For more information, go to www.stophungernow.org.

Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104

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