Fighting hunger is a team affair for parishes

Parishioners from across the Diocese of Knoxville gather together July 25 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church to fill food bags that will go to feed people in the African country Burkina Faso. The mission program was led by Catholic Relief Services and Helping Hands. Photo by Bill Brewer

Parishioners from across the Diocese of Knoxville gather together July 25 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church to fill food bags that will go to feed people in the African country Burkina Faso. The mission program was led by Catholic Relief Services and Helping Hands.
Photo by Bill Brewer

A highly organized assembly line of parishioners from across the Diocese of Knoxville gathered at St. Thomas the Apostle in Lenoir City on July 25 in an effort to help end hunger in Africa.

Those who took part in the Helping Hands project, sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, helped churn out 10,000 meal packages which will be shipped to people in Burkina Faso, a landlocked nation once known as Upper Volta, located in West Africa.

An estimated 50 volunteers, including members of the Knoxville Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and the St. Thomas Youth Group, wore hair nets and plastic gloves, and used plastic spoons, cups, and funnels to pour fortified rice and soy in to small plastic pouches.

The pouches were sealed and then placed in cardboard boxes for shipment.

Sally Jackson, a KDCCW coordinator, said it’s believed this was the first Helping Hands event held in the Diocese of Knoxville. It was also the last service project for the KDCCW 2015 Convention, which started in April.

Helping Hands, a program developed by Catholic Relief Services and Stop Hunger Now, is a high-energy, hands-on way for Catholics in the U.S to tackle hunger around the world. Michael Trujillo, a relationship manager for CRS said the organization educates volunteers about the people and country they are helping, ships the meals and provides skills training and other long-term programs that help break the cycle of hunger.

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