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Volunteers Emily Stutzman, left, and Isaac Ostdiek, right, members of St. Bonaventure Parish, and Abe Perault, of St. Isidore Parish, all in Columbus, prepare food for third-world families at a food packing event coordinated by Cross Catholic Outreach and the Columbian Squires at Scotus Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School June 15. COURTESY PHOTO

Cross Catholic Outreach event packs 40,000 meals

Approximately 175 volunteers from the Columbus area packed 40,000 meals in 90 minutes for hungry people in Central America and the Caribbean. 

The June 15 event at Scotus Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Columbus was sponsored by Cross Catholic Outreach, a Catholic relief and development ministry, and a small group of Columbian Squires, a youth organization of the Knights of Columbus. 

Cross Catholic Outreach will ship the food for distribution at the end of July to Catholic ministry partners in Guatemala or Haiti, depending on need.

One of the volunteers, Carmen Mellinger, a member of St. Anthony Parish in Columbus, said it was important to donate one’s time and talent through community service.

“I truly believe many good things above and beyond feeding others will come from the event,” she said. “I hope that the service project helped volunteers realize the great need others have, and the fulfillment one receives in becoming a gift of themselves by serving.”

The Columbian Squires, made up of young men ages 10 to 18, are the official youth organization of the Knights of Columbus. Those hosting the event were from Knights of Columbus Council #938 in Columbus.   

In addition to food assistance, Cross Catholic Outreach, based in Boca Raton, Florida, also provides medical care, clean water, education and emergency relief services to 29 countries around the globe. The organization coordinates similar food packing events across the country, said senior director Sandi Pino.

“Though it’s difficult to imagine, an estimated 1 billion people go to bed hungry each night,” Pino said. “(The) food packing event was a great opportunity for the community to rally together to help fight against the terrible scourge of hunger around the globe.”

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