By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
As one of her classmates sealed and tossed a final food pack into a shipping box, Megan Holter and her friends celebrated with a loud cheer. The bag was one of 147,960 meals packed by volunteers during a Feed My Starving Children effort at Bishop Lynch High School on Oct. 22.
“If we have the ability to do something like this to help others, why not do it,” said Holter, a Bishop Lynch junior and one of more than 630 volunteers who packed the school’s competition gym for one of three two-hour service shifts. “We’re here to help children across the world who are less fortunate and those who don’t have enough to eat. This event brings together our whole community to make that happen. It’s just a great experience.”
Bishop Lynch hosted the service effort in partnership with Feed My Starving Children, a Christian, non-profit organization empowering volunteers to pack meals for the malnourished in nearly 70 countries around the world. Each packaged bag contains six servings of a mix of vegetables, vitamins, rice and soy. In all, those meals packed by volunteers at Bishop Lynch will feed 405 children for an entire year.
Allison Kindley, a faculty member who served as Bishop Lynch’s coordinator for the event, said it is the fourth time the school has hosted a Feed My Starving Children effort, which this year coincided with the observance of World Mission Sunday.
“We are trying to build the total person with our students,” Kindley said. “A part of that is learning that when you are given so much, much is expected of you. We want them to learn and appreciate service and giving back to those who are in need.”
While it is a service activity, Kindley said the effort is also a great opportunity for fellowship for students, faculty, family and community members.
“After 2020 and the pandemic, we lost a lot of that connection as a community,” Kindley said. “With this, the students and BL community are coming together, working side by side, having fun, and just really reconnecting. There is just so much you learn just by working beside someone else.”
The service effort is more than just an opportunity for students, however.
“We call this a community-wide service opportunity,” said Chris Rebuck, president of Bishop Lynch High School. “Our community comes out in droves. We have parents, students, faculty, staff, alumni, partner schools, and other parishes. We put out that anyone who wants to come and help can.”
Colleen Inman, a Bishop Lynch alumna who has one daughter at the school and her other children at nearby St. Pius X Catholic School, worked with a team that included St. Pius X students.
“I think it is a really fun way for them to feel like they are active and involved,” Inman said, adding that the St. Pius X seventh- and eighth-graders recently visited the Feed My Starving Children facility in Richardson for a service opportunity as well. “They are having fun, but at the same time, they are associating that fun with helping other people and doing something good. Hopefully, this creates an attitude, or a love of service, that will continue throughout their lives.”
Aside from the fellowship and fun, Father Mark Garrett, the school’s chaplain, said the service opportunity also offers a valuable lesson.
“All the food here is going to go to people the students are never going to meet, they are never going to see,” Father Garrett said. “And, yet, they are going to have an impact on those people’s lives by spending a couple of hours putting food together.
“It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to change the lives of people you’ve never met.”