Volunteers pack over 23,000 meals at 18th annual ‘Rise Against Hunger’ event

Faculty, staff and students gathered in Alumni Gym on Saturday, Sept. 2, to pack meals that will be distributed across the globe.

Roughly 200 volunteers gathered in Alumni Gym on Saturday, Sept. 2, with the sole intention of packing meals full and fast for communities in need.

Elon’s Campus Kitchen has partnered with Rise Against Hunger 18 times since 2008, and each time brings together Elon faculty, staff and student volunteers, including student-athletes. A nonprofit organization, Rise Against Hunger started in Raleigh and provides relief to thousands of communities in need by packing and distributing meals. Saturday’s event offered the chance for members of the Elon community to help with the distribution of food that provides lifesaving aid around the globe.

Members of Elon’s men’s and women’s basketball, track and field, dance and cheerleading teams were lending a hand Saturday along with student employees of the Kernodle Center for Civic Life and Elon Volunteers. Cheers and claps were heard far and wide throughout the gym at the sound of a gong ring, which signified the packing of 1,000 meals. At this year’s event, over 23,000 meals were packed.

Students packed over 23,000 meals at the Sept. 2 Rise Against Hunger event in Alumni Gym.

“Rise Against Hunger works with a lot of governmental organizations to make sure the food gets to where it needs to be,” said Vivian Krause ’24, student employee of the Kernodle Center for Civic Life. Communities with high rates of malnourishment and areas affected by natural disasters are two of the primary types of locations meals are distributed to, Krause said.

Participants stood in an assembly line and scooped, weighed and sealed ingredients from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., dividing their work into two shifts. They stored their meals in boxes that were packaged at the foot of each table, with everyone eagerly anticipating the next gong ring.

While Rise Against Hunger works to assist many impoverished areas worldwide, the lack of availability of nutritious meals is also a problem for local communities.

“Food insecurity is a big issue in Alamance County,” said Grace Ackerman ‘24, Elon Campus Kitchen director. “I joined Campus Kitchen to address that and work with community partners to try to alleviate the issue, and this whole event goes along with that.”

The event was sponsored by Elon Volunteers, Campus Kitchen at Elon University, the Office of Residence Life and Kernodle Center for Civic Life.

For those who are interested in future service opportunities, Elon Volunteers promotes their upcoming events in their weekly newsletter. Additionally, events are uploaded on Give Pulse, a central hub for volunteer events and service opportunities.