40,000+ meals help 'Stop Hunger Now'
Hundreds of Elon University students took part Saturday in a service project aimed at providing hunger relief to people around the globe.
Elon University students packed more than 40,000 meals on Saturday for school feeding programs,orphanages and clinics around the world as part of an annual “Stop Hunger Now” meal packing event that encourages new students to get involved in service.
The Aug. 29 event, which welcomed about 280 students to Moseley Center's McKinnon Hall, was held during the first weekend of the academic year.
“We know that the first six weeks of college set the tone for the rest of a student’s college career and we want service to be a part of every student's experience," said Stacey Rusterholz ’11, coordinator of the Campus Kitchen at Elon University service program. "We hope that introducing students to service early on will help foster a lifelong commitment to leadership and service.”
Melanie Seidman, an Elon Volunteers! student director, and Olivia Arges, a student intern for the Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life, welcomed participants to the event and discussed opportunities for engagement on campus.
Darron Stover ’93 G’95, program manager for Stop Hunger Now, provided students with insight into the impact of Stop Hunger Now, a North Carolina-based relief agency. Since it began in 1998, Stop Hunger Now has delivered more than 210 million meals around the world.
After learning about the meal packing process, volunteers started scooping ingredients, weighing and sealing bags, and packing the meals into boxes for shipment. Stop Hunger Now distributes the meals through feeding programs in developing countries that promote education and health for children.
Once the meal packing was completed, student leaders from Residence Life and the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement led participants in small group reflections. Organizers said that reflections are an important to help students process their experience, talk about the root causes of hunger, and discuss ways to help address local and global issues.
The annual meal packing event is one of many opportunities that engage students in addressing hunger and food insecurity. Locally, Campus Kitchen at Elon Univeristy partners with food service provider ARAMARK and the school's Loy Farm to assist the 26,290 people in Alamance County identified as food insecure.
The Stop Hunger Now event was a collaboration involving the Center for Leadership, Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, New Student and Transition Programs, Residence Life, and the Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life.
- Information submitted by Stacey Rusterholz ’11, coordinator of Campus Kitchen at Elon University