Rise Against Hunger: Volunteers pack tens of thousands of meals for those in need

Students, faculty and staff joined in to pack 30,000 meals that will be distributed around the world, including those areas of the Bahamas devastated by Hurrricane Dorian.

Bass-pumping music echoed through Alumni Gym as the annual Rise Against Hunger event brought together students, faculty and staff to pack meals for disaster relief as well as food-insecure locations around the world. The goal for the day that saw workers filling two shifts was 30,000 packed meals, many of which will feed those in areas of the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

The goal was to pack 30,000 meals during hte course of the day.

“It’s awesome to see the Elon community coming together for something, especially since not everyone here has experienced food insecurity and hunger,” said Paola Kalb ’20, student director of the Campus Kitchen. “I’m really excited to see everyone coming together to help others, especially with the hurricane in the Bahamas. I feel like that is really at the forefront of everyone’s minds today.”

Rise Against Hunger representative Darron Stover ’93 made sure to note that along with those in the Bahamas who need aid right now, there will continue to be those impacted by natural disasters around the world who will also need attention. Stover motivated the volunteers throughout the event by keeping morale high and even ringing a gong as some boxes were finished being packed.

Senior Lucy Jones, a long-time member of Elon Volunteers!, says the Rise Against Hunger event is the organization’s biggest event and its timing at the beginning of the academic year serves as a great vehicle for those interested in being part of Elon Volunteers!.

“For a lot of students, it’s their first introduction to doing service at Elon,” Jones said. “It’s a good way to start getting people involved in the Elon Volunteers community and thinking about our broader global community and fighting issues of hunger internationally and locally.”

Among the areas the meals will go to are regions of the Bahamas impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

It’s not just Elon students who feel passionately about this event and its meaning. Shawn Thompson, a graduate apprentice for the Kernodle Center, sees Rise Against Hunger as a great event to help students recognize the issue of world hunger as well as to support his own personal connection to the event.

“I’ve been doing this for a lot of personal reasons,” Thompson said. “I’ve had a lot of family members who have gone through this struggle. But also, to fight for the people who can’t speak for that both internationally and locally.”

Elon’s Rise Against Hunger event is unique as it not only serves to pack thousands of meals, but also includes breakout group sessions to address the greater issues of food insecurity and hunger at both local and international levels.

The event was sponsored by the Campus Kitchen at Elon University, Office of Residence Life, Office of Sustainability, and Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. For more information about how to get involved, you can visit the Kernodle office in Moseley Center 230 or contact staff by email at elonvols@elon.edu.