As a beloved staple for foodies and barbecue lovers throughout the Triad, Little Richard’s BBQ spread the love in the month of April to help feed children in need. Owner Stephen Karagiorgis recognizes the importance of giving back to the community and was moved to take action, after learning just how prevalent hunger and starvation is among children worldwide.
“It’s never a child’s fault if he or she is born into destitution or food insecurity,” explains Stephen. “The Little Richard’s BBQ family has been blessed and decided it was time to share those blessings with the less fortunate.”
After being introduced to a Christian nonprofit organization named “Feed My Starving Children (FSMC)” in 2018, Stephen began learning more about the horrors of hunger around the world. He was deeply moved after hearing stories about starvation, including stories about parents having to feed their children patties of packed mud, with no nutritional value, solely to help their children feel satiated. In October 2019, Stephen and the Little Richard’s team hosted its first mobile food-packing event at West Forsyth High School, enlisting the help of 275 volunteers, which consisted of family, friends, Little Richard’s employees, West Forsyth High School Key Club members, and local members of the Kiwanis Club. Throughout an 8-hour shift, volunteers packed 504 boxes, creating 108,864 meals to be delivered to starving children worldwide.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, gathering volunteers and safely hosting a food-packing event was nearly impossible, but it didn’t stop Stephen and his team from doing what they could to plan for their next event in the meantime. With the extra time to prepare, the team worked even harder to ensure that they met their goal of packing a total of 101,088 meals in April, which is enough to feed 279 children daily for a year.
After a long hiatus, volunteers from the Little Richards community, West Forsyth Key Club members, family, and friends were ready to begin packing bright and early on Saturday, April 2nd. Volunteers staffed during the first session alone of the Feed My Starving Children event successfully packed 24,624 meals. During the second meal-packing session that day, 39,744 meals were packed. After a third session, the goal was met and the whopping 101,688 total packed meals were loaded onto pallets to prepare for their shipment to children in orphanages, schools, and supply checkpoints worldwide. Additionally, a portion of meals from this year’s event will be aiding children impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as Ukrainian families’ lives have been upended by the tragedy that has ensued.
Each meal packed costs only 24 cents and is loaded with nutrient-dense foods such as dehydrated vegetables, soy protein, vitamin powder, flakes that aid in muscle and brain development, and rice. Meals enjoyed at Little Richard’s on Mondays also help those in need, as part of Little Richard’s BBQ’s Meal for Meal Mondays program adopted at every Little Richard’s location. If you choose to dine at Little Richard’s BBQ on Mondays, each meal purchased is matched with a donated meal to hungry children by the Little Richards team.
Stephen and his Little Richard’s BBQ family are elated by the turnout of this year’s Feed My Starving Children food- packing event, especially now that COVID restrictions have eased and the community has begun feeling it is safe to congregate once again. He and his team look forward to continuing the tradition of striving to end the suffering caused by starvation, and will be on the lookout for new ways to help in years to come.
To learn more about Feed My Starving Children and its mission as a nonprofit organization, visit the website at www.FMSC.org. Dine-in or order takeout at one of the many Little Richards BBQ locations on Mondays to help those in need, and browse the Little Richard’s BBQ menu at www.littlerichardsbarbecue.com. To stay up-to-date on the latest events and news from Stephen and the team at Little Richard’s, check out the team’s Facebook page and follow @littlerichardsbbq on Instagram.