Briefs: Meals for Hungry Kids, Young Life Remembered

Volunteers Pack Meals for Hungry Children

TULSA, OK (February 6, 2013) – Six hundred volunteers at Redeemer Covenant Church recently packed more than 108,000 meals, enough to feed 298 impoverished children around the world.

Redeemer partnered with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) to prepare the meals. Volunteers, ranging in age from five to 89, worked side-by-side as teams in two-hour shifts for most of a weekend to hand-pack the meals, said Charlotte Guest, the congregation’s director of communications.

Members enlisted friends to help, and everyone enjoyed the event, which also informed participants about world hunger, said Gretchen Guillette, director of missions at Redeemer. “We were united as a body of Christ and knew that our efforts would have a global impact.”

Guest noted that malnutrition and hunger-related diseases kill 18,000 children each day – the equivalent of a packed house at an Oklahoma Thunder NBA game.

Each meal costs only 22 cents to produce and takes just minutes to pack. The meals are especially formulated to quickly reverse and prevent malnutrition. They include a formula of 20 vitamins and minerals that are added to dried vegetables, soy protein and rice.

Community Gathers to Remember Life of Teen

CALUMENT CITY, IL (February 6, 2013) – Civil rights activists and community members gathered at New Zion Christian Fellowship Covenant Church on Friday to remember the life of Stephon Watts, a 15-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who was killed by police when they responded to a domestic disturbance call on February 1, 2012.

Police said the boy attacked them with a steak knife, cutting one of the officers on the forearm. The Cook County District Attorney’s Office cleared the officers in the shooting. Three family members who were in the house at the time dispute the official account and say Watts had what was obviously a butter knife.

The family has filed suit against Calumet City and the Calumet City Police Department.

On the day of the shooting, the Watts family placed a non-emergency call to police because the boy was using a butter knife to try to break into a cabinet where the Watts stored a computer, according to accounts.

Police had been to the home at least 10 times in two years to deal with disturbances involving Watts and knew he had Asperger’s. The teen’s father, Steven Watts, has said that he had been advised by local hospitals to call in order to obtain a police report, before seeking hospital treatment.

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