Packaging Meals for the Less Fortunate

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LEHIGHTON -- Some folks in Carbon County want to remind us all that there is a year-round need for food for people who are less fortunate. Giving is not just for the holiday season.

People spent several hours Sunday at church packaging meals that will be given out to folks in need.

The social hall at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lehighton was filled with people. They lined both sides of end-to-end tables and were fast at work packaging macaroni and cheese meals.

The helpers were both young and old, and filled bags scoop by scoop.

The macaroni, just one ingredient in the meal that will help folks around Carbon County who would otherwise go hungry.

"We're going to package between 24 and 32 thousand meals depending on how much comes in for donations today yet," explained Rev. Matthew Martin, End Hunger NE.

Reverend Martin runs "End Hunger NE" and travels to different churches in the northeast to oversee these food-packing efforts.

Altogether, seven Lutheran churches took part in the event and everything was paid for with donations.

"This feeds, or we hope it will help feed the 3,000 people in Carbon County who are considered food insecure. Most of those are teenagers below the age of 18," said Alvin Sellers, Carbon County Thrivent Financial for Christians.

Organizers said the need is great throughout the year in Carbon County, not just during the holiday season, and by spending a few hours putting macaroni and other ingredients together, the hope is to prevent families from having to make very tough decisions.

"When people need food in the dead of winter, when it's wicked cold outside, and they're trying to decide do I heat my home or do I feed my children?" said Rev. Martin.

Reverend Martin said it used to be that several food drives would fulfill the need for the year, but not anymore.

"Now those collections last about one month, and all the food is gone, so we have to keep stocking these food shelves so people get to eat," said Rev. Martin.