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UNCW students and community volunteers spent some of their Saturday at Hanover Hall on campus packing meals for children and families as part of the annual Stop Hunger Now project.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) partnered with the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (OSLE) and Greek Life Samaritans in the project. Volunteers worked in three-hour shifts to pack thousands of meals to help people suffering from hunger internationally.
“This is a wonderful event that really puts things in perspective,” said Jamie Russell, assistant director of OSLE. “When packaging these meals, many realize this might be the only thing the person will eat that day, and it’s inspiring.”
Last year’s event drew 400 volunteers who packed 100,000 meals.
“We are pleased with this partnership with OSLE and our student-athletes are looking forward to helping this great cause by rolling up their sleeves to help those in need,” said Will Libous, advisor for SAAC. “Our student-athletes take pride in working with the Wilmington community on projects like this.”
Members of the baseball, women’s tennis and women’s golf teams also helped out with the project.
The six-serving meals have a shelf-life of two years and include rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and a flavoring mix with 21 vitamins and minerals. The meals are generally distributed in schools to promote education for the recipients.
“Each of these meals only costs 25 cents and every one of them may save someone’s life,” Russell said.
Stop Hunger Now was founded in 1998 by UNCW alumnus Ray Buchanan to end world hunger, and started the meal packaging program in 2005. The organization’s mission statement is simply “To end world hunger,” and through the generosity and selflessness of the volunteer community more than 114 million meals have been packaged since 2005, fighting hunger in 65 countries.