Students flock to Parkersburg Church to pack meal kits | News, Sports, Jobs


Blennerhassett Middle School student Harry Silvis, left, and Parkersburg South High School student Natalie Douglas seal lunch bags during a Rise Against Hunger event Friday at South Parkersburg Baptist Church. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Hundreds of middle and high school students gathered Friday night at the South Parkersburg Baptist Church to pack food bags for the less fortunate.

A dozen churches joined forces for the event in support of Rise Against Hunger, an organization dedicated to ending world hunger.

“It’s one thing to get together for fun” said Eric Tucker, director of Escape Student Ministries at Liberty Street Church in Parkersburg. “But when you come and…serve shoulder to shoulder, you don’t forget that.”

Since the event was on Good Friday, when the church recognizes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, organizers presented it as a “Great Friday” Event. Tucker said the goal was not just to prepare food for those in need, but to give young people a chance to invite friends over for the evening and, if they were having fun, to l Church on Easter Sunday.

Representatives from Rise Against Hunger organized and guided the event. Students learn how to measure, sort and pack grains, soybeans and rice and seal them in plastic bags. The process took some getting used to.

Hundreds of youth and adult volunteers pack meal kits during a Rise Against Hunger event to address overseas food insecurity Friday at South Parkersburg Baptist Church. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

“It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but now it’s like cold,” said Jazlynn Dowler of Grace Gospel Church.

Brooklyn Burdette said picking up the right amount of grain was a slow process at first, “Then we started picking up speed.”

Food bags are “Basically, meal kits that people can use to cook all kinds of meals,” said Tucker.

The food will be sent to an overseas country plagued by food insecurity, he said.

Members of the youth group raised funds to cover the costs of the event. When it looked like they wouldn’t quite hit their mark, churches joined in, Tucker said. Now they expect to have leftover funds to donate to the Latrobe Street Mission, so the event can help overseas and at home, Tucker said.

Local students pack lunch bags during a Rise Against Hunger event Friday at South Parkersburg Baptist Church. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Evan Bevins can be reached at [email protected]


For more information on Rise Against Hunger:

Clockwise from left, Brooklyn Burdette, Andrew Fink, Elliot Frymire, Alex Kanios, Benson DeVore, Malachi Frymire and Jazlynn Dowler pack food bags with cereal, soy and rice during from a Friday night Rise Against Hunger event at South Parkersburg Baptist Church. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

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