JERSEY SHORE - Volunteers will pack 20,000 meals to distribute to people in need in Lycoming and Clinton counties Sunday.
"It is a way to help those who hunger," said the Rev. Kerry Aucker, of St. John Lutheran Church, 229 S. Broad St. "(It's a way) to supplement the other efforts to address hunger in the area."
The nutritious and fortified meals cost only a quarter to make. By having inexpensive meals, each dollar raised can feed a family of four.
The meals are shipped from an outreach headquarters in Iowa in 50-pound bags. Volunteers mix the macaroni and cheese and the protein powder, then separate them into small plastic bags to distribute through The American Rescue Workers Love Center in Jersey Shore and the Pennsylvania Food Bank.
At least 50 volunteers from 20 churches throughout Lycoming and Clinton counties will help in one-hour shifts. After the food is mixed and put into bags, the bags will be heat-sealed and given a label, instructing people how to prepare the meal, Aucker said.
It has taken about six months to plan for the event. This is the first time it has been done in Lycoming County, but it has been done in other parts of the state and country.
The date was chosen so children would be available to help. Aucker said his church regularly does a mission trip with a project for them.
Aucker hopes it will be successful enough to repeat.
"There're a lot of hunger in our county," he said. "There are a lot of food banks and a lot of places doing a great job. This is just another supplement to that. It's a way our people - youth and adults - can get involved and volunteer."
Pastor Matthew Martin, of Outreach Inc., coordinator for the northeast, will preach at the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services before the packaging begins.