Church packs 100K meals for Panama, COVID-19 aid effort

Countless people all over the world are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have been out of work due to sickness, others have even lost jobs.

In Waukesha, one church's mission took a step forward on Saturday, Nov. 14 -- helping to feed hungry families in need during a hard time for many.

With a scoop of rice, some veggies and nutrients and a recipe for caring, volunteers and church members ar RiverGlen Christian Church came together for those in a country thousands of miles away.

"It’s really all about feeding into others spiritually as well as physically," said Amy Merz, director of outreach and communication at RiverGlen Christian Church. "The need is great and the need is wide.

People at RiverGlen Christian Church package meals for Panama

Merz said the group packed 100,000 meals, which will be sent to Panama. With a pastor there, the church will distribute food and minister to people affected by COVID-19, 
"We feel like this is our responsibility and this is our chance to give back and support people globally," Merz said.

The pandemic is not only affecting health, but finances as well.
"We are all living in uncertainty right now," said volunteer November Nicholson.

People at RiverGlen Christian Church package meals for Panama

Together, they hope to help provide something critical during an unprecedented time.
"Everyone needs to know that they are still loved, and that they are still cared for during this time because we are all living in isolation," Nicholson said. "It’s weird times, so anything that we can do is so awesome."

Merz said the massive food-packing event has been planned for months, and the community stepped up.

People at RiverGlen Christian Church package meals for Panama

"We did a huge big offer and giveaway. Our church generously gave $143,000," said Merz.

The church is also giving a portion of the meal packs to local food pantries. Folks who participated hope the effort is not only a help, but inspiraiton.
"We were made to be hope and be light for others," Merz said.

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Roughly 650 volunteers participated over several packing shifts. 

The food will be shipped to Philadelphia, where it will be combined with boxed from another church. It will then be shipped to Panama in the next couple of weeks.