Volunteers are still being sought for the day-long event Saturday, hosted by Dunwoody United Methodist Church.
Participants, church congregants and residents hailing from the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs communities are slated to assemble 150,000 dehydrated meals for children in need across the globe.
That amounts to more than 10 tons of dry goods — including rice, soybeans, vegetables and vitamins — making the endeavor the largest effort of its kind in metro Atlanta for the Stop Hunger Now initiative.
“Anyone who’s done [Foodstock] before will be here again,” said Wiley Stephens, senior pastor of the church. “They enjoy the fellowship around the table and the feeling of making a difference. Besides, there’s not many ways that you can feed this many people … Jesus feeding the multitude, I think is the inspiration for this kind of effort.”
Volunteers will work, assembly-line style, in two-hour shifts from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The dehydrated meals they prepare, which have a five-year shelf life, will be shipped out shortly afterward.
The initiative primarily targets children through school lunch programs but also extends to the community it is serving based on need.
“This is not just for our church — we’re inviting people of all faiths to participate in a service project that helps others,” said Keith Lawder, associate pastor at the church.
Anyone wondering whether the church is actively involved with providing sustenance to local people enduring economic hardships and abject poverty need not worry, the pastors said.
The church regularly contributes to entities like the Atlanta Food Bank and Community Assistance Center in addition to multiple shelters.
“Like [noted cleric and theologian] John Wesley said: ‘The world is our parish …’” Stephens said. “We are aware of the need here, but we are so blessed as a nation compared to people overseas in Africa and Haiti who are at the point of hunger, starvation.”
The day-long effort calls for 750 volunteers, who are invited to participate free of charge. More than 600 are expected to have signed up by press time.