Church volunteers pack 100,000 meals for hungry children

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OKLAHOMA CITY - For many of us, a dehydrated meal of rice, soy and vegetables doesn't sound like our favorite lunch.

But for hungry kids around the world, it's the answer to a prayer.

Thanks to a local church and a non-profit group teaming up, thousands of prayers were answered Sunday afternoon.

How many volunteer opportunities allow kids and seniors to work together to change the world?

"You really can make that happen and that's the beauty of it," Matt Casteel said, with Stop Hunger Now.

Stop Hunger Now is a non-profit international hunger relief organization that is teaming up with more than 500 St. Luke's United Methodist Church volunteers to prepare and package more than 100,000 meals.

Those meals will feed children around the world in schools and orphanages.

In Nicaragua, for example, this effort transformed lives.

"It was amazing, the physical changes to the children," Casteel said. "Their demeanor, their energy, you know, their learning capacity."

Making a difference with their own hands is what compelled this congregation to come out in force because the hunger statistics are astounding.

"Just in Oklahoma, we have one in four children that go to bed hungry," said Julie Robinson with St. Luke's UMC.  "Across the world, we have 25,000 people that are dying each day because of hunger, and St. Luke's wanted to be part of stopping that hunger around the world."

Amy Curran wanted to bring her two boys to St. Luke's UMC to give them a chance to serve and to know how precious food really is.

"Oh it makes me thrilled," she said.  "This is what being a parent is about for me.  Hopefully, they won't waste as much food when we're at home eating dinner together."

Everyone has their reasons for being here.

For Casteel, it's a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote that keeps him going; "What are you doing for others?"

"I like to try and ask myself that question every day when I wake up and doing this job helps me do that," Casteel said.

Each of those packages serves six people and costs only 25 cents to make.

If you'd like to donate to this life-changing cause, log on to, or

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