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News Community Franklin area students to fight hunger, save lives during 30 Hour Famine

On Saturday, teens will pick up donations for CareNet as part of the 30 Hour Famine organized by United Methodist churches in the area.For the 18th year in a row, youth from First United Methodist Church will be hosting more than 80 teens during the 30 Hour Famine on Feb. 22-24.

As part of the Famine weekend, local participants will fast for 30 hours, collect canned goods for CareNet and donations for World Vision, and take part in activities to learn more about both the issues of hunger and ways to help. Participants will also perform hands-on service projects during the weekend in order to make a difference in the Franklin community. Prior to the event weekend, students raise funds with the knowledge that every $30 they raise can help feed and care for a child for a month.

“During the month of February, youth from many area churches are joining the efforts of hundreds of thousands of young people all over the nation to participate in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine to make a difference for people who are hungry in our local area and all over the world,” said Rev. Margaret Freeman, associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in Franklin. “By going without food for 30 hours, these teens get a taste of what the world’s poorest children and families face every day.”

On the morning of Saturday, Feb. 23, Famine participants will be stationed outside local grocery stores in an effort to encourage contributions of food and money. “This year, shanty towns will be set up as visual reminders of the great needs in our community and beyond,” said Freeman.

Teams will be standing by at local grocery stores ready and able to accept donations of toiletries and canned goods to be given to CareNet.In addition to collecting food at grocery stores, youth will be picking up plastic shopping bags in town which were delivered to residences two weeks ago. Bags will be collected on Saturday morning, Feb. 23, as teens go door to door.

“Collecting food is always a lot of fun and enjoyed both youth and adults,” stated Rayven Casada, youth co-leader for the 30 Hour Famine. “It is always eye opening when collecting, because often times the most generous are those who seem to be the most needy. We hear stories from those donating, saying they are donating because they have received help from CareNet previously, or are currently receiving help.”

Cans of food and toiletry items may also be dropped off at First United Methodist Church, the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store, Franklin Health and Fitness Center, Mountain View Intermediate School, and Macon Early College. Other participating United Methodist churches include Dryman’s Chapel, Union, Mulberry, Asbury, Clarks Chapel, Bethel and Cashiers. All food items collected will go directly to CareNet to help those in need in our community.

During the famine, youth will also participate in service projects with a focus on hunger and poverty issues. Participants will be working at CareNet filling bags for the school backpack program, at the Habitat for Humanity thrift store, at the Methodist Children’s Home, and in the community picking up trash.

At last year’s 30 Hour Famine, volunteers sort canned goods to be placed in boxes and taken to CareNet.Katie Moninghoff, youth co-leader of the famine, commented, “We do the service projects on Saturday afternoon when we are so hungry and tired that all we can think about is eating and then sleeping. Usually, we teenagers just want to think about ourselves. But on famine weekend, we put the needs of others before ourselves. Last year, we filled 440 backpacks for the CareNet backpack ministry program which provides food for school children over weekends.” In 2012, youth also assisted in a landscaping project and office organization at the CareNet office on Bidwell Street and worked at the Methodist Children’s Home by washing windows and making gift bags for the children in residence.

Since 2006, more than 43,000 cans of food have been donated to CareNet during the 30 Hour Famine and Franklin area youth have raised more than $60,000 for CareNet and World Vision. World Vision funds raised by 30 Hour Famine participants help feed and care for children in communities in need around the globe. Famine funds contribute to World Vision’s response in areas where famine, conflict, and other crises make children vulnerable to hunger and preventable disease. Since 1992, the 30 Hour Famine has raised close to $140 million, representing countless lives saved. World Vision works in nearly 100 countries, helping approximately 100 million people every year.

For more information, contact Rev. Margaret Freeman at Franklin First United Methodist Church at (828)524-3010. Visit www.30hourfamine.org or call (800)7-FAMINE for more information about the 30 Hour Famine.

About World Vision

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org.

Hunger facts

  • A child dies from hunger-related causes every 13 seconds. That’s as many as 7,000 children younger than 5 – killed every day. Most of the child deaths every day are 100 percent preventable. There are simple causes with existing cures — diarrhea, malaria, hunger, and more.
  • Around the world, 925 million people are hungry. That’s roughly three times the population of the U.S., one in every seven people in the world.
  • The poor spend most of their money on food. About 2.6 billion people in the world live on less than $2 a day.
  • Since the 30 Hour Famine started in 1992, the total number of kids under age 5 who die each day has fallen from 40,000 to just over 20,000.
  • Every $30 that is raised can help feed and care for a hungry child for one month.
  • 1.3 pounds of rice or beans = how much a person living in poverty in Africa eats per week

Wars and natural disasters dominate the world’s daily headlines, but behind the scenes and far from the spotlight, hunger and preventable diseases claim the lives of 24,000 of the world’s children every day. More than 1 billion people go hungry every day. More than 6 billion live on the planet.

Macon County CareNet facts

  • In 2012, CareNet served 8,859 families — an increase of 2,689 families from the previous year (2011).
  • In 2011, it was estimated that 16.7 million children lived in “food insecure” households (Feeding America Child Hunger Facts). In Macon County, that number meant 1,840 or 29.5 percent of the total population was considered “food insecure” as defined by Feeding America.
  • This past year, 15,425 backpacks were delivered to children in Macon County schools through CareNet’s backpack program, providing food over the weekend for children in dire need. In 2012, 125,734 pounds of food were donated to CareNet, but 190,117 pounds of food were distributed to people in need.


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