On Friday evening November 9th, one hundred and forty four middle school students gathered at Saint Matthew Church in Tolland to pack non-perishable meals for needy children. Among the participants were young people from Saint Matthew, WyldLife, Our Savior Lutheran Church in South Windsor, Storrs Community Church, the Service Club at Tolland Middle School and many others.
At the event the youth were divided into two shifts. One group started working on several assembly lines while the other enjoyed an impromptu melodrama and some beach ball volleyball with twenty people forming an unusual human net. About half way through, the two groups traded places which gave everyone the opportunity to work hands-on with the meals. The meals called "Lentil Protein Casseroles" consist of rice, lentils, dehydrated vegetables and Himalayan sea salt.
By the time the evening was over the youth were able to pack and box 10,556 meals. The next night a hundred and nineteen high school youth gathered at Saint Matthew Church, and they were able to pack an additional 10,944 meals.
The total number of meals packaged and boxed by the middle and high school youth was 21,500. These nutritious meals will be donated to local food pantries and/or schools in either Hartford or Tolland County. The youth themselves raised the money or made donations in order to purchase the food supplies for the meals.
In order to bring this exciting event to Tolland, the Youth Ministry of Saint Matthew Church, and the Christian youth organization "Young Life," partnered with "Feeding Children Everywhere," a charitable organization which specializes in running these kinds of events. Churches, schools, businesses and other groups can also contact Feeding Children Everywhere (see feedingchildreneverywhere.com) if they would like more information about sponsoring a similar event. For more information about Young Life contact Young Life Area Director Van Hall at 860-647-8957. For more information about the youth programs of Saint Matthew contact Youth Minister Bridget Thurston at 860-872-0200.