When the Clinton United Methodist Church let the national Rise Against Hunger organization know there would be an event this year, they were beyond grateful.
“They were so excited we are willing to give this a try,’’ said organizer Beth Roy. “Since March so many events had to be canceled.’’
Rise Against Hunger has been an annual event in Clinton going on five years. By collecting donations, local volunteers spend a day packaging meals that can be used in countries with extreme hunger and poverty.
Since the coronavirus pandemic set in place numerous restrictions about gatherings, Rise Against Hunger has seen a significant drop in communities putting together meals and in monetary donations. The Clinton event, which has grown in each of its years, adjusted its goal.
This year they hope to raise $15,000 to package up to 45,000 meals Saturday, Oct. 3 at Clinton High School. Volunteers will be assigned duties during one of two shifts, 9 to 11 a.m. or 12 to 2 p.m.
To help with the fund raising, volunteers have an event scheduled for Friday, Sept. 25. From 4 to 6 p.m. at the Clinton Methodist Church volunteers will sell apples - small bag for $5 and large bag for $10 - drive-thru style.
To volunteer to pack meals, go to https://tinyurl. com/ClintonRAH2020 by the end of the day Oct. 2.
Roy said given the gathering regulations, 60 volunteers will work each shift, down from the 100 per shift usually working. Everyone will be required to wear facemasks, gloves and hairnets.
Roy said families and people who have been spending time together under Covid-19 precautions are encouraged to sign up and work a table. Family groups will not be mixed, but each volunteer group will be assigned their own area and tasks.
Started by the Methodist Church, Rise Against Hunger has turned into a full community event with other churches, community organizations and Clinton Central School and Hamilton College participating.
Volunteers form assembly lines to fill bags with rice, dehydrated vegetables and vitamins and minerals. These packages go to schools, hospitals and community groups in targeted countries.
“Rise Against Hunger has had a lot of struggles this year,’’ Roy said. “But hunger doesn’t take a break. They have had more meals that need packaging than people to pack them. You can’t hit pause on hunger.’’