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Meal Packaging

A Volunteer’s Story: Honoring the Life of Her Loved Ones, Providing Life-Changing Meals to Others

Mackenzie G Author
By McKenzie Grimes on September 23, 2022

It’s no secret that we have built an amazing community of volunteers! Also known as our Hunger Champions, volunteers of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life and from all over the world come together in support of one unified mission — to end world hunger. Kim Nguyen and Thu-Suong Vo’s volunteer story is one that perfectly depicts what a Hunger Champion is. Let’s hear how they’ve dedicated their time to serving others in a special way!

Kim and Thu-Suong began volunteering at our Houston warehouse last year after watching our Houston staff on Viet TV. They started helping our staff with tasks that help our Houston warehouse and meal packaging events run smoothly, like labeling bags, washing dishes and packing extra meals — but their impact didn’t stop there. Earlier this summer, Kim reached out with the idea of honoring her parents’ memory by donating to Rise Against Hunger. After further discussion, it was deciding that Kim — with the help of other volunteers — would package an entire pallet of meals in her parents’ memory!

Kim, Thu-Suong and two of their friends began chipping away at the pallet, packaging a few meals at a time over a few weeks. Kim shared that Buddhists mark the death of a loved one with 49 days to honor, celebrate and memorialize their life, so Kim and Thu-Suong were determined to finish their goal within one month to align with Buddhist tradition. And they achieved this, packaging their last 10 boxes and completing the pallet of 14,256 meals on September 2! 

Our Houston Area Manager, Catherine Mayfield, referred to this pallet of meals as “Memorials Meals.” She was honored to have an opportunity to “provide [Kim and Thu-Suong] with a meaningful opportunity to honor Kim’s parents.” 

The impact that a Rise Against Hunger meal has in communities around the world facing hunger is deep-rooted. Our meals are unique — they are more than just a bag of rice, dehydrated soy, vegetables and a micronutrient packet. And these “Memorial Meals” add another dimension to what these meals provide. For the communities we serve, these meals provide education, recovery, opportunity and nourishment. To Kim and her family, these meals provide an opportunity to memorialize and honor her parents. Together, these meals provide hope to everyone.

These Memorial Meals are packaged in loving memory of Minh Tam Thien Dao & Dieu Thuy Tam Hai, and we are so grateful to Kim Nguyen for allowing us to be part of her memorial to her parents. 

Are you inspired to take action? Find out how you can make a lasting impact in the fight against hunger!