Students pack thousands of meals for the hungry


Sara Syed

Students packaged more than 20,000 meals on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

By Sara Syed, Writer

Nearly 70 people participated in the Stop Hunger Now event held in the Student Union Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to aid in putting an end to the cycle of hunger that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide every day.

Students who participated in the event were assembled into a factory-like chain where each member contributed a different type of necessary ingredient to be packaged into a meal bag holding enough food to offer six meals per bag. Each meal bag contains a specially formulated vitamin packet that was created by Heinz specifically for Stop Hunger Now.

The vitamin packets contain 23 specific vitamins and minerals to help children fight off the hunger and malnutrition that cause disease.  Meal bags also contained soy, which constitutes as a protein, dehydrated vegetables for more added nutrients, and rice, a carbohydrate for energy. Meal bags were left flavorless so that recipients can use their own flavors.

The meals are easy to prepare; they only require six cups of boiling water to be added to create a full meal. Some of Stop Hunger Now’s warehouses also distribute water filtration systems to impoverished areas.

Volunteers from UA helped to package 20,088 meals for hungry children and people suffering the effects of natural disasters.

Stop Hunger Now is a humanitarian hunger relief organization that aims to not only end world hunger, but to also make sure that the children of the world are fed so that they can continue their education.

Vic Burmeister, representative from Stop Hunger Now, stated that one of the organization’s main missions is to provide meals to struggling schools so that children can have a meal to eat while at school.

“Seven or eight year old kids are working and it is not right; they don’t have a choice,” said Burmeister about the current situation millions face each day.

In many third-world countries, children are not able to attend school because they are often too busy searching for food. Stop Hunger Now works in alliance with school feeding programs that ensure the packaged meals are distributed to 65 different countries across the planet.

Stop Hunger Now provides packaged meals to third-world countries and countries that suffer from natural disasters, such as Africa, Haiti, South America, Guatemala and 61 more places.

Eighty percent of all packaged meals go directly to children. The other 20 percent are kept in a reserve in case of an emergency, in which case they are distributed appropriately.

The main goal of this event was to not only bring awareness to poverty and hunger, but to take action.

The event was held by the Department of Student Life. Alison Doehring, one of the main organizers for this event and countless other service events at the university, stated that it is great to see students participating and coming back each year to help again.

These types of events give students the chance to have a hands-on experience to give back.