'Emmanuel Feeds' event at Emmanuel UMC in Memphis produces 20,520 packaged meals


More than 150 volunteers came together at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, to package 20,520 meals as part of its "Emmanuel Feeds" event. (Submitted photos)

More than 150 volunteers filled the gym at Emmanuel United Methodist Church (UMC) in Memphis, Tennessee, on Sunday, April 2, for the church's 5th Annual Emmanuel Feeds event, according to a May 8 media release from the church. 

In less than two hours, over 20,520 packaged meals were prepared: 9,072 meals were donated to the Southern Eye Institute of Memphis for their eye clinic ministry in Sierra Leone; 432 meals were donated to a ministry in Haiti; and the balance, 11,016 meals, were donated to the Midsouth Food Bank.
Although Emmanuel UMC has a food pantry that assists persons in need year-round, the church was "pleased to provide this additional opportunity to make meals for the Mid-South Food Bank and others,” according to Mike Hairston, an organizer for Emmanuel Feeds.
Dr. David Comperry, pastor of Emmanuel UMC, encouraged everyone in the congregation to participate: “It is difficult to imagine a mission event that is more fun, and enables the youngest and oldest members to bless the lives of those who are ‘food insecure’ in the Mid-South community and the world.” 
Emmanuel UMC organizes Emmanuel Feeds each year in partnership with the Memphis Feeds Initiative [MFI], and Outreach, Inc.  Since 2010, MFI, in conjunction with Outreach, has been responsible for packaging over 6.3 million meals for domestic and international use. “With the expertise and high-volume sourcing provided by MFI and Outreach, Inc., we are able to provide protein-enhanced packaged meals. A bag consists of 6 meals costing $1.65 per bag,” said Hairston.
The Memphis Feeds Initiative has a threefold purpose:

  • to provide healthy, packaged meals throughout the world
  • to respond to the food needs of natural disaster victims
  • to provide meals for food pantries in Memphis and the tri–state area
The program is sponsored and underwritten by corporations, municipalities, civic groups, schools, universities and faith-based organizations. MFI facilitates the event by supplying the bulk food and equipment for an event. An event sponsor such as Emmanuel UMC, is primarily responsible for raising funds for the bulk food, finding volunteers for the event and the providing a facility to host the event.
To learn more about Emmanuel Feeds or Emmanuel UMC, contact the church office at 901-754-6548 or visit the church website at www.emmanuelmemphis.org . 

If your workplace, school or other group would like to organize a similar food packaging event, the MFI contact is John Guthrie, Jr., (901)355-3945, jhguthriejr@comcast.net.