EDMOND — Members of Waterloo Road Baptist Church will put on protective head coverings, gloves and aprons Sept. 23 as they assemble ingredients for 100,000 meals destined for starving HIV/AIDS-affected South Africans.
The congregation is contributing about $23,000 to finance the effort. About 50,000 meal packages were assembled by church members last year.
The north Edmond church is partnering with Numana, a nonprofit hunger relief organization, the Southern Baptist Global Response program and Tabitha Ministries in the Sweetwaters area of South Africa. The Tabitha group ministers to a large rural community decimated by HIV/AIDS. About 45 percent of the population are infected and 120 babies and adults die weekly. Some 6,000 children live in households headed by children 16 and younger. Many babies are orphans or their mothers are unable to breast-feed them.
Using an assembly line system, Waterloo Road volunteers plan to package rice, soy, beans and vitamins in plastic sacks that will be weighed and sealed. Both children, youth and adults are expected to take part. Boxes of the food packages will be loaded in semi trailers for transport to air and sea ports.
The Numana/Baptist Global Response project is part of Waterloo Road Baptists' “Come in to Go Out” outreach mission, said the Rev. Griff Henderson, the church's pastor. The church also maintains a food pantry for the needy as well as a program that provides food to the homeless in downtown Oklahoma City.