Little Richard’s BBQ is doing something different every Monday. Almost a year ago, they started a program called Meal for Meal Mondays at all of their locations. For every meal that is purchased at their restaurants on Mondays, they donate a meal to a hungry child. Owner Stephen Karagiorgis knew world hunger was a great humanitarian crisis and wanted to be a part of the solution. He said, “We knew world hunger was a problem, and I was looking for a way for us to help. It is never a child’s fault for whatever situation they are in and that is where our focus is. We want to do good through food, beyond our community and country, to help children all over the world.”
In 2018, Karagiorgis was introduced to the owner of a restaurant called Tacos 4 Life. He learned about how the restaurant was working with a Christian non-profit called Feed My Starving Children, or FMSC, to provide meals for starving children around the world. Karagiorgis was so inspired by what he saw, he decided to partner with this organization in his own restaurants.
FMSC’s mission is to feed God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit. They strive to eliminate starvation in children throughout the world. They do this by providing scientifically designed complete meals to children at the cost of only $.24 per meal. Each meal includes vitamin powder, dehydrated vegetables that provide texture, soy protein flakes for muscle and brain development, and rice, a universally recognized grain and belly filler. These meals provide a complete source of nutrition. The meals are funded and packed in the US and then FMSC partners with worldwide organizations to provide meals to children in orphanages, schools, malnutrition clinics, and supply checkpoints throughout the world. The partners report back to FMSC, so they know how the food is being used.
FMSC also sets up mobile food packing events. Kirstie Williams of FMSC explained, “ Part of what we do is organize and coordinate mobile food packing events for our sponsors. We ship in all the ingredients and then come in as a staff to set up the space and equipment needed to pack the meals. These events allow the community to get involved in what we are doing and get a better understanding of what we are providing to the children.” This is exactly what they did for the mobile food packing event held at West Forsyth High School on October 19, 2019.
When preparing for the mobile food packing event, Karagiorgis reached out to the community to provide the volunteers needed to make it a success. The 275 volunteers that came out represented Little Richard’s employees, family and friends, The West Forsyth High School Key Club, and local members of the Kiwanis Club. Theresa Bryant, West Forsyth teacher, Sponsor of The WFHS Key Club, and Clemmons Kiwanian was thrilled to be a part of this collaboration, “I am so thankful for the hard work that Little Richards BBQ put into this project. Stephen Karagiorgis was a mastermind getting this event to come together. The West Forsyth Key Club and the Kiwanians of Clemmons were so lucky to be approached by him and asked to help with this incredible effort to help starving children around the world. We hope to make it a yearly event and get even more people of the community involved.”
The volunteers worked from 8 am to 3 pm packing 504 boxes with 108,864 meals. They were so excited to do this work; many asked to stay and work beyond their original shift. Owen Newsome, a 9th grader member of the Key Club said, “Well, I had a great time packing and running between different stations to provide more supplies. I had a great time meeting new people along the way and hope to do it again next year!”. 10th grade member Abigail Nix really enjoyed her experience too, “I will definitely remember that day for a long time! Personally, I love doing community service, and this project was one that stood out to me! Not only was packing the food cool, but I admired the amount of hard work these people put in all the time for this organization!”. FMSC was surprised by how efficient the volunteers were and how quickly they were able to reach the goals for the day. Everyone went above and beyond to help out and make the event a success.
Meal for Meal Mondays is an ongoing event every Monday at all Little Richard’s BBQ restaurants. If you would like more information, visit their website at www.littlerichardsbarbeque.com. If you would like more information about Feed My Starving Children, visit their website at www.FMSC.org.