Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer
One in nine people in the world don’t get enough to eat. Many poor farmers can’t grow enough food to feed their own families, much less raise enough income for essentials like education and healthcare. That’s why World Vision partners with communities to address the immediate food needs – but also to equip them to grow food for the long term. Thousands of groups are coming together to raise funds for those who are hungry around the world, many of whom have been made more vulnerable by the lasting effects of COVID-19.
Since 1992, millions of students in the U.S. and around the world unite to participate in a 30-Hour Famine. This year, First United Methodist Church (FUMC) will be participating once again, but due to the pandemic it will be an abbreviated event. Instead of beginning their fast on Friday evening and camping out at church overnight, students will be meeting at church the morning of Saturday, March 13, to offer assistance at the outreach center. Younger children will offer assistance at Care Net filling backpacks with food. No groups will be collecting money curbside and no buffet will be served at the church after fasting for 30 hours. Instead, collection boxes have been distributed at various businesses throughout town for folks to safely drop off their non-perishables and monetary donations.
The businesses that will be aiding in the Famine include, Ace Hardware, BiLo, Crabtree General Store, Drake Enterprises main building, First Citizens Bank (food only), Fishing Tails, Fox Mercantile, Franklin Office Supply, The Franklin Press, Jones Key & Melvin and Patton, Kavod Fitness, McAllister Insurance, Macon County News, Motor Company Grill, My Favorite Things, Nantahala Physical Therapy, Noah’s Ark, Outdoor 76, Radio Shack, Rockin Rollie Pollies, Select Bank (food only), Silver N Stuff/Merle Norman, TekTone, Three Eagles Outfitters, and Wells Fargo Bank.
FUMC Assistant Pastor Vickie Lawrence urges folks to stop into any of these businesses and donate to this worthy cause or drop off donations on Saturday, March 13, at the Outreach Center, just below FUMC, from 9 a.m. to 5pm.
“Although this year will be different, it was very important to find a way to participate in the 30 Hour Famine. The youth and I love the event and love participating in service projects. This is so important because, as it says in Matthew 25:35-36: ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ We are not only helping those who are experiencing food insecurity, but we are helping Jesus.”