House of Mercy’s annual ‘Campaign to End Hunger’ is Oct. 18

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MANASSAS PARK, Va. – The House of Mercy’s annual “Campaign to End Hunger” meal-packing event to feed the poor has been moved up a month this year to Saturday, Oct. 18, to coincide with events for the United Nations’ World Food Day, which is Thursday that week.

“House of Mercy decided to coordinate our event this year with World Food Day to emphasize that motivated people from around the world can make a difference with hunger,” said Ann Cimini, the nonprofit humanitarian organization’s executive director. House of Mercy, a faith-based charity located in Manassas, Va., provides food free to people in need as part of its mission to feed the hungry.

“This event will highlight hunger, but also celebrate the hundreds of people we’re expecting to attend, people who care about humanity and want to make a positive change,” said Cimini, who will be leading her first Campaign to End Hunger event as executive director. She was promoted in July from assistant director. The agency’s previous executive director, Kellie Ross, resigned in February to spend more time with her family.

This year’s event will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Manassas Park Community Center, located at 99 Adams Street. The campaign goal is to pack 150,000 meals, Cimini said. Food pantries in Kentucky’s Appalachian region will receive many of the meals from this year’s event, she said.

“The town of Baxter, Ky., and other food pantries in Harlan County, Ky., will be recipients. There are desperately poor people there and a strong need in that county to feed the hungry. Food pantries there need help meeting demand,” she said.

House of Mercy has partnered with the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, located in Bristow, Va., to ensure that the campaign’s meals reach those communities. The sisters are familiar with food pantries there and have delivered food and other goods before to those in need in that area, Cimini said.

The agency’s campaign goal this year also includes sending 12,000 meals to Honduras, Cimini said. These meals will include half rice and half pinto beans. “These are going to two desperately poor towns, including one with an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity, Mother Teresa’s Roman Catholic order,” she said.

House of Mercy is seeking individuals, groups and organizations to sign up to pack meals at the event, which is also a fundraiser. The fee for each two-hour meal-packing shift is $35. Four meal-packing time shifts are available: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10 a.m. to noon, noon to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The fee covers the cost of meal food ingredients, supplies and shipping, Cimini said. “Any extra money after expenses are met helps fund our operating costs and community programs throughout the year,” she said.

Cimini suggested registering quickly. “Only 320 packing positions are available. Usually the 10 o’clock and noon shifts fill quickly,” she said.

She is also asking for volunteers, at no fee, to help clean and pack up afterward, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Registration is accepted online, by mail or at the House of Mercy, located at 8170 Flannery Court (zip: 20109). The agency accepts checks and credit cards.

To register online, as a meal packer or clean-up volunteer, visit and select “2014 Campaign to End Hunger: House of Mercy.” Then select “Purchase tickets.”

For more information about the House of Mercy or Campaign to End Hunger, email or call 703-659-1636.


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