By Alyssa Schnugg
Organizers for the ninth annual Feed the Hunger Pack-a-Thon, that provides thousands of meals for impoverished children from Kenya to Kentucky, is once again counting upon the LOU community for support.
This year’s Pack-a-Thon will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 and 9 to 11 a.m., noon to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. Volunteers are asked to work two-hour shifts to pack the meal kits.
The goal is to pack 150,000 meals. With the average cost for a meal being .28 cents, the student-led event needs to raise $42,000.
“We are raising money through doing percentage nights (at local restaurants), Greek life, personal donors and more,” said event chair Sydney Wingfield, an Ole Miss student and member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority which organizes the event each year.
During a two-hour shift, teams of volunteers assemble four ingredients: rice, soy protein or dehydrated pinto beans, dehydrated vegetables and vitamin powder. These ingredients, which together provide complete nutrition, are packaged in six-serving meal packets that are then weighed, sealed, and boxed. Volunteers ages 5 and up are welcome to participate.
One packaged, the Pack-a-Thon meals will be sent to children in Kenya, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Jamaica and rural Kentucky.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring members from the LOU community together,” Wingfield said. “This event would not be possible without each and every volunteer.”
UM was the first university in the nation to partner with the nonprofit organization in conducting pack-a-thon events, launching its event in 2010.
Several members of Kappa Kappa Gamma travel each year to Kenya and other countries to help deliver the meals.
About 900 volunteers throughout the two days are required to make the event possible. To become a volunteer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the desired shift to work.
To donate money to Feed the Hunger, visit www.feedthehunger.org and click “Donate Now.” Designate the donation to “UM Pack-A-Thon.”A $65 donation feeds a child for an entire year.
This video will help you understand what a Feed the Hunger Packathon is, why you should help, and how to get started.