More than 125 volunteers gathered under the leadership of the Rotary Club of Easton, Md. to pack 20,000 meals as part of Rise Against Hunger on Sat., Jan. 25 at the Waterfowl Festival headquarters building in Easton.
Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable people. The project is one of many the Rotary Club of Easton, Md. sponsors and organizes throughout the year, including other initiatives supporting local food distribution.
The Rotary Club of Easton, Md. has lead this program for the past four years, packing 60,000 meals to date. The Club’s goal is to reach 100,000 packed meals by January 2022.
“This is a great example of how people working together on a local level, can make a big difference worldwide,” said Easton Rotary’s Rise Against Hunger Chair Richie Wheatley. “We spent a morning together meeting new people and having fun volunteering, while packing 3,333 bags into 93 boxes. Each box’s cost of $80 is covered by the funds we raise, and feeds 216 people.”
The Rotary Club of Easton funded the project through generous donations from individuals and organizations, including the Rotary Club of Easton, Md., Easton High School Interact Club, Holy Trinity Church in Oxford, MD, the Mikey Marcel Memorial Foundation, Tim Kagan and Emily and Ryan Groll of Eat Sprout of Easton and St. Michaels.
Wheatley says the process starts early in the morning, with unloading a truck with everything needed for the morning’s work. Rotary Club of Easton members set up numerous stations for volunteers to assemble the bulk ingredients—soy flakes, rice, dried vegetables, and vitamin supplements. Sterile gloves and hairnets, along with detailed instructions from Rise Against Hunger staff keep the process safe for food-handling.
Volunteers take the assembled packets to another station, where more volunteers weigh and seal the packets. The final steps have another group of volunteers boxing up the packets to be loaded back on the truck, by more volunteers. Then the group packs and cleans everything up to leave the Waterfowl Festival building ready to host its next guests.
Groups providing volunteers included the Rotary Club of Easton, Md.; Easton High School Baseball Team and the Easton Baseball Club; Easton High School teachers; Easton Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol, Chesapeake Center; the Tidewater Rotary and St. Michaels Rotary Clubs; the Interact Clubs of Easton, Cambridge-South Dorchester and St. Michaels High Schools; and community members at-large. Eat Sprout was on hand throughout the event to supply baked goods, spreads and coffee, as well as volunteer support from family and staff members.
According to Rise Against Hunger, 820 million people across the world do not receive enough nutrition to lead an active, healthy life. The organization is mobilizing the necessary resources to end hunger by 2030—including 430,000 global volunteers in 2018, and by producing millions of nutritious meals distributed to partners in countries around the world. More is at riseagainsthunger.org.
The Rotary Club of Easton, Md. was founded and chartered on Sept. 1, 1921, and remains the oldest Rotary International Club in a town with fewer than 10,000 people. The club currently has 93 members, with a goal to reach 100 members by its 2021 centennial. Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. To become a member, or learn more about the Rotary Club of Easton, Md., visit eastonrotary.org.
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