Volunteers pack 30,000 meals at annual ‘Rise Against Hunger’ meal packing event

Meals will be sent to several countries, including Haiti, which suffered a devastating earthquake last month.

The energy was high in Phoenix Activities & Recreation Center on Saturday, Sept. 4, as over 100 students packaged 30,000 meals in just two hours at the annual Rise Against Hunger meal-packing event, hosted by Elon Volunteers.

Volunteers loading boxes of meals onto the Rise Against Hunger truck.

As music played to keep spirits up, students wore masks, hairnets and gloves and were at both sides of 10 tables, moving efficiently to scoop ingredients into bags. Volunteers then weighed and sealed them and finally, the sealed bags were packed up into boxes that were loaded onto the Rise Against Hunger truck. Keeping with the event’s tradition, a gong rang every time students packed 5,000 meals.

Student at the Rise Against Hunger event rings the gong to signify 5,000 meals had been packed.

“We went so fast that we actually missed a couple,” said Autumn Cox, assistant director to the Kernodle Center. “I’ve never seen it before and it ran so smoothly, they really have it down to a science.”

Last year, the Elon community volunteers were able to pack 23,000 meals for the Rise Against Hunger event.

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization. Their goal is to end hunger across the globe. To reach this goal, they regularly host meal-packing events, and this is the 16th time the event has been hosted at Elon.

After a year of virtual and hybrid events, students were excited to be attending the event in person.

“I was really impressed and also just loved the energy of all the students,” Cox said, who is in her first year at Elon. “I’ve heard this from other campus partners that especially this year, students are just so excited to be involved in things again.”

Some of the meals will be sent to Haiti, which was recently hit by an earthquake and then a tropical storm. Rise Against Hunger will follow up with volunteers to let them know where the meals have been sent.