“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.” The verse from Matthew 25 reveals the mission of an Oklahoma-based ministry that is tackling hunger both far and near. Stamping Out Starvation (SOS) came to Luther’s First Christian Church on Sunday afternoon where an army of volunteers donned hair nets and took a place in an assembly line to feed the hungry, one casserole at a time.
Monte Stewart drove the Stamping Out Starvation truck and trailer to Luther from the ministry’s home-base in Cherokee where the bulk ingredients of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and vitamins are collected from farms.
The SOS home-base is not far where (everyone’s favorite auctioneer) Dennis Delano used to live, thus the connection. “This gives everyone a reason to go away feeling good while having a whole lot of fun,” he said.
The volunteers not only came from the Christian Church, but the Baptists and Methodists joined in too. And there was representation from the football team, cheerleading squad, FFA, 4-H and elementary school. The kids served along side their parents, their grandparents and their elders. And they worked. They measured, bagged and boxed all afternoon. In all, they assembled about 30,000 meals.
Most of the 33 pound boxes will go to Haiti, but some might feed the hungry in Oklahoma. Measured carefully, the meals are designed to attack starvation with maximized nutritional value. Stewart said 500 school children on a mountain in Haiti eat this meal every single day. He takes several trips there each year, and has also found a way to send the meals to other troubled spots like Ukraine (where the Russians are running everyone out, he says) and African countries like Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Liberia and Niger.
Stories of hunger and poverty hurt our hearts, whether those stories involve children in another part of the world, a classmate at school or a neighbor in our town. SOS, through generous support of donors and volunteers like the Luther group, help tackle the issue, one casserole at a time.
SOS will come back if there’s a group that wants to help. Monte drives the trailer to schools, universities, clubs, churches – anywhere there’s willing volunteers. You’ll have fun and go away feeling good.