What We’re Still Doing to Package Meals, and How You Can Join Us!
Never have avenues for digital global empowerment been more accessible. Just check out these virtual engagement opportunities!
But there’s something we don’t want you to miss: we’re still packaging meals. We’re two and a half months into 2021 and volunteers in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have packaged 654,256 nutritious meals for those facing hunger worldwide in the midst of COVID-19.
Here are four ways that Rise Against Hunger’s generous partners and committed volunteers adapt to our current challenges and continue to package meals:
- Stay together as families, or stay distanced as individuals! In year’s past, we’ve gathered around tables, taking turns scooping soy, veggies and rice through funnels and into meal bags. In our modified format, individuals fill their own bags at their personal buffet-style ingredient station. Families can renovate their ingredient table into a traditional, closer-contact funnel station while individuals get to work eight feet away. To keep things simple, we’ve had hosts designate family and individual areas at the same event!
- Spread your event out over the day! Rise Against Hunger facilitators are prepared to work overtime to best accommodate your impact goals. We’ve gone from sunrise to sunset, and in several cases have turned meal packaging events into multiple day experiences. Taping shut your last box of nutritious meals — knowing how many eager volunteers took turns contributing to your total throughout the day — feels that much sweeter. Evening shifters (and the leaders who stick it out from start to finish) know what I’m talking about!
- Impact lives in multiple ways. Having fewer volunteers — or packaging fewer meals — doesn’t mean your Rise Against Hunger Experience needs to make less of an impact. While we’re focused on meeting our commitments to distribute meals, we’re also focused on providing small grants to communities for locally sourced food baskets. Many of our partners who are decreasing their meal numbers for 2021 are using the leftover funds to support Rise Against Hunger’s continued COVID-19 relief efforts. We also have five active Empowering Communities projects. Can your community use this year as an opportunity to fully invest in our sustainable efforts to increase resilience in food insecure communities?
- Continue making an impact through our virtual network of Hunger Champions. OK, so you don’t need to attend an event to do this one. But that’s kind of the point. Even our volunteers who have pressed pause on meal packaging have inspired us with their continued support for the communities we serve. Last month, we created the Volunteer COVID-19 Relief Fund and asked Hunger Champions to pledge one dollar toward nutritious meals and emergency food baskets. Volunteers worldwide have raised over $6,000 during one of the most challenging times our global community has ever faced.
All this to say, despite both local and global challenges, we’re committed now more than ever to supporting food insecure children and families worldwide. And, from at least eight feet apart, we’re still nourishing lives. Are you ready to join the movement? We’re waiting for you!