Crowd trades Sunday worship for hunger relief

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. — More than 200 church members and visitors gathered at Midway United Methodist Church on Sunday morning, June 9 to help relieve hunger both locally and abroad.

Working with "Stop Hunger Now," an international hunger relief agency, and "Bags of Love," a community-based effort that helps to feed Forsyth County schoolchildren who rely on free or reduced-rate lunches, the church volunteers transformed the Midway UMC sanctuary, 5025 Atlanta Highway, into a meal-packaging center.

Each time 1,000 meals were boxed, a clanging gong sounded and the entire group stopped working momentarily to cheer.

"In about an hour-and-a-half, 200 people from ages three to 93 packaged more than

30,000 meals," said Pastor Stacey Hanson. “Our congregation is serving people they'll never meet...both overseas and in our own backyard. That's impact.”

"Bags of Love" will continue at Midway UMC every Sunday through August.

For more information, e-mail juliamurray@bellsouth.net or visit www.midwayumc.org