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Deadline near for food boxes headed to Iraq, IMB says

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Time is getting short for Southern Baptist churches that want to send food boxes to hungry families in Iraq.

Southern Baptist relief workers say hunger is one of the major needs in the country in the aftermath of the recent war. Churches across the country were challenged in early April to send boxes of dry food that will feed a family of five for about a month.

Perhaps as many as 95,000 boxes are headed for collection centers, but more are needed and there is still time for churches that want to help.

The deadline for delivering food boxes to collection points in each state is May 21.

Instructions for purchasing the food and packing the boxes can be found at http://www.imb.org/missionspartner/foodbox.asp. Contact information for collection centers in each state can be found at http://www.namb.net/dr/pages/state_phones.asp.

“This is a great way to minister in a personal way to Iraqi people if you can’t actually go yourself,” said Jim Brown, director of world hunger and relief ministries for the International Mission Board. “This isn’t relief that is going to be mass-distributed in a refugee camp either. It will be specifically delivered to hungry families in the towns and villages of Iraq once peace has been restored to the country.”

The food aid will be delivered without regard to ethnic or religious identity, Brown said.

The boxes will contain almost 70 pounds of staple food items: beans, lentils, rice, flour, salt, sugar, loose tea and powdered milk.

The boxes must not contain other items or literature of any sort, Brown said. Inclusion of evangelistic tracts could cause the aid shipment to be rejected by authorities.

A label on the outside of each box will quote John 1:17 in Arabic: “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” It also will identify it as “A gift with love from the Southern Baptist churches in America.”

Disaster relief offices of Baptist state conventions will receive boxes and, in partnership with the IMB, will coordinate delivery to the shipping point, Brown said. Specific questions about the collection process should be directed to those offices. People with other questions may contact the International Mission Board.

Churches or individuals who would prefer to make a donation toward the cost of the project can designate checks to “Iraq Response — General Relief” and mail them to: Iraq Response, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230-0767. Make checks payable to International Mission Board and designate “Iraq Response — General Relief.”

Contributions may be made online at http://resources.imb.org/index.cfm/fa/prod/ProdID/961.htm. Every dollar given will go 100 percent to relief ministries.
— For more information on Iraq relief efforts: http://www.imb.org/worldhunger.
— Ready to serve? http://going.imb.org/vim/main/ready_to_serve.asp.
— More Iraq news reports: http://www.imb.org/urgent.
— Interactive map of the Middle East: http://www.imb.org/urgent/map.asp.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: DEADLINE NEAR.

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  • Mark Kelly