On Saturday, September 30, over 100 people worked in the fight against hunger in partnership with Rise Against Hunger. It was exciting to continue our partnership with this nonprofit, and to double the number of meals we packed last year. These meals contain enriched rice, soy protein, dried vegetables and 23 essential vitamins and nutrients.
We packed 20,718 meals with people working at 9 stations over a 2-hour timeframe. Let’s look at what that does for people and what we did, by the numbers:
- Each meal packet serves 6 meals
- We created 3363 meal packets
- Our packing rate was 28 packets/minute, or 3 packets/station/minute, or 1 packet/station/20 seconds, or overall about 1 meal every 3 seconds
That’s a lot of meals in a short amount of time.
Thank you to all who came to rise against hunger! We were blessed to joined by church members of St. Alban’s in Arlington and St. Elisabeth/Christ the King in Fort Worth.
Where will these meals go?
They are warehoused and then packed in a shipping container, where they will make their way across the sea, possibly to Nicaragua. Rise Against Hunger will let us know the destination when our meals have shipped, and we’ll share that information when we get it.
Update on October 16, 2017: The meals we packed went to Madagascar. Read more about the partnerships that will feed school students there.
What difference does this make?
To understand what difference our meal packing makes, we have to grapple with the enormity of hunger and its impact on lives:
- Where devastation from natural and manmade disasters exists, hunger exists.
- 815 million people in the world don’t get the food they need to live a healthy life.
- 1 in 9 people are chronically malnourished.
- Malnourishment leads to several chronic hunger-related diseases that kill more than 21,000 people every single day. That’s more than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined.
- Of those 21,000 people, more than half are under the age of 6.
- 66 million school-aged children attend classes hungry across the developing world.
- The effects of hunger on children are devastating and can have lifelong consequences.
- Malnutrition in all its forms – from wasting to obesity – directly affects one three people.
- We know that a peaceful world cannot exist when one-third is rich and two-thirds are hungry. Food security and peace go hand in hand.
And here’s the payoff:
- Hunger is the common thread among the world’s most challenging issues. When you target hunger, you give leverage and hope to every other cause including poverty, disease, education, and the welfare of women and children.
- Communities with food can shift their focus from a chronic cycle of survival toward education, job training, and economic growth.
- Every $1 spent on malnutrition prevention delivers $16 in economic returns.
Did we make a dent in hunger around the world? We touched lives with 20,718 meals for hungry people. Feeding the hungry is not a choice, it is a Christian imperative. It’s part of our taking the Gospel message to the world. Hunger is not just a social issue; hungry people bear the image of Christ, and they are our brothers, sisters, and neighbors.
Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’