University of Mississippi students plan to pack 140,000 meals for Feed the Hunger at their 4th annual Pack-A-Thon on Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Jackson Avenue Center.
Ole Miss was the first college campus to host a Feed the Hunger Pack-A-Thon, a multiday event where volunteers participate in a hands-on experience putting together meal packets that will be shipped to at-risk children in FTH programs across the world.
The year’s Pack-A-Thon is teaming up to support two other local charities, More Than A Meal and Lovepacks, to pull together enough volunteers, donations and supplies to reach their 140,000 meal goal.
According to Feed the Hunger representative and Pack-A-Thon organizer Kate Redding, it costs $38,000 to prepare and pack that many meals and the group is still looking for funding, with just two weeks left until the marathon event.
“Even small donations of just $10 to $25 would be great,” Redding said. “Anything and everything helps. The best part is that through FTH, when you write a check for the Pack-A-Thon, you can see where your money is going.”
Groups across campus organize trips with FTH to hand deliver these meals around the world each year. Most recently, Ole Miss students have delivered food to children in need in Haiti, Kenya, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
“It’s rewarding to see the faces of the children we deliver food to,” Redding said. “They’re smiling because they get to eat that day, all because we packed these meals in Oxford, Mississippi.”
Redding explained that it takes four ingredients to pack a meal. Those ingredients need to be gathered, then packed into individual packets or boxes. The process of packing 140,000 is a huge goal and volunteers, as well as donations, are still needed, Redding said.
It costs $65 to be a volunteer and the two-day event is divided into two-hour shifts (see times below). However, those who wish to donate money in lieu of time, not only help the FTH mission, but can also sponsor a volunteer who might not be able to afford the fee.
“It really is a community event, everyone helps out,” Redding said.
More Than A Meal and Lovepacks are in need of some specific items to be donated for the event, in addition to monetary donations and volunteers. Below are a list of those items:
More Than A Meal
- Name Tags
- Paper Towels
- Toilet Paper
- Men’s Deodorant
- Laundry Detergent
- Backpacks (new or used)
- Pop-top Vegetable or Chicken Noodle Soup
- Boxes of Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter Crackers
As mentioned above, the two-day event is divided into these two-hour shifts:
- Friday, Feb. 28 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- Saturday, March 1 – 9 to 11 a.m. – 12 to 2 p.m. – 3 to 5 p.m.
For more information about donating time, money and/or supplies, send an email to email@example.com. A FTH representative will get back to you as soon as possible.
Background: Feed the Hunger
Almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes each day, yet hunger is not a food problem. It is a distribution problem, according to the Feed the Hunger. FTH is trying to help eliminate this problem by getting nutritious food to places with children desperate for food.
The FTH mission statement reads: Feed the Hunger helps people to engage the hunger within them to make a difference for eternity. We help satisfy this craving by giving them an opportunity to feed the spiritual, emotional, and physical hunger in needy children.
“That’s why FTH teams up with schools, so the kids aren’t just learning about God and getting the nutrition they need,” Sarah Douglass, who made the trek to Asia with FTH, said. “They’re also getting an education. Who knows, maybe that one meal we pack in Oxford, Miss. will get a kid in Kolkatta, India to sit through class, get an education, and maybe make a change.”
Click Here to read the amazing stories about the five Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters who took the trip to India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh in January to deliver food packed at an Oxford Pack-A-Thon last year.
– Kate Sinervo, managing editor, HottyToddy.com, firstname.lastname@example.org