There’s plenty of fun and games going on at Kingsport’s Fun Fest this weekend, but for the first time in its 35 year run people came out to Saturday’s festival with a goal of feeding the hungry.
What started as a cup full of rice, quickly added up to thousands of mouths fed around the world. That was the driving force behind volunteers who turned out at Sullivan South High School to pack meals for Stop Hunger Now– a non-profit, international hunger-relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other aid to crisis areas across the globe.
Usually, local church organizations and civic groups collaborate for the fundraising effort, but this year they asked Kingsport’s Fun Fest to step in to help pack 100,000 meals in one day. Vice Chairman Mike Lattier said the Fun Fest Council was happy to be of service.
“It’s always been about having fun and community service and this is a great community service,” Lattier said.
Kingsport’s Stop Hunger Now coordinator Karen Dale said, while this may not be a record-breaking year on a national scale, it was the most successful turnout of volunteers she’s seen at the local level.
“We expect to have over 1,000 volunteers today, so we met that goal. We met the financial goal that we need for 100,000 meals, so everybody came through just like Fun Fest always does,” Dale said.
Still, organizers worked to surpass that goal and rang a gong in celebration of every time 1,000 meals were packed.
With such a successful turnout of volunteers, Stop Hunger Now assistant program manager Valerie Patrice Carpenter said this is a partnership that will more than likely continue in the years to come.
“Service is always good and it’s a blessing. It’s a blessing to them, they did a good thing, and we’ve done a good thing for the world today,” Carpenter said.
You can donate to the local Stop Hunger Now chapter by clicking here.
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