The Rotary Club of Kerrville is seeking volunteers to assist with food packaging efforts benefitting “Rise Against Hunger” on Saturday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hill Country Youth Event Center. The packaged meals are then distributed across the globe to areas and individuals who need them most.
In addition, a food drive will be conducted during the same time period and all foods collected will be distributed to local food banks.
“Rotary clubs around the world have historically supported Rise Against Hunger, including the Rotary Club of Kerrville,” Tammy Prout, club president, said. “We’ve hosted these food packaging events each year for several years, but had to cancel last year’s plans due to COVD-19. We did not want to cancel again and we hope to have 50-60 volunteers working throughout the planned four-hour event in at least one-hour shifts. And, if you cannot attend, please consider dropping off non-perishable food to our local food drive.”
Rise Against Hunger’s goal is to end hunger worldwide and to assist in feeding victims of devastating natural disasters. The food provided is dried and packaged by volunteers, Prout said.
“Our organization’s approach to ending hunger centers on mobilizing a global network of hunger champions. Rise Against Hunger meal packaging volunteers produce millions of nutritious meals annually that are then distributed to partners in countries around the world. Those partners are best able to address the causes and effects of hunger based on their local presence and expertise. Through our thorough monitoring and evaluation process, we ensure the meals distributed by those partners are used as a tool to change lives by promoting education, improving students’ health and nutrition, addressing gender inequalities, stimulating economic growth and fighting child labor,” the Rise Against Hunger website explains.
Another core focus of Rise Against Hunger is responding to crises–both natural and man-made. From droughts to floods, in conflict zones and transitioning political situations, food is often the most immediate need. When everyday access to food, wages, and market systems are destroyed in the wake of emergencies, Rise Against Hunger works through a network of in-country partners to address these needs. They strive to ensure aid is efficiently and effectively deployed to and received by communities when it is needed most.
“Our third approach to eradicating hunger centers around grassroots community empowerment. Rise Against Hunger bolsters agricultural production and incomes through programs promoting improved agricultural methods, business skills, and market access. With training and access to quality seeds and fertilizers, farmers can increase production and harvest a variety of nutritious crops. By supporting the establishment of fish and livestock production, we also provide pathways to diversifying diets and improving nutritional outcomes.”
According to Prout, food packaging is not physically demanding and all residents are invited to particpate.
“Each volunteer will be assigned various duties and that include sitting at a work station to weigh and measure dried food and place them the provided packaging,” Prout said. “Some volunteers will be asked to collect the packages.”
The atmosphere is fun and exciting, she added.
“Having attended past Rise Against Hunger events, having fun is the goal of the day,” Prout said. “The Rise coordinators will keep you entertained and by the end of the event, you should be happy with your choice to volunteer.”
Volunteers must register in advance and may do so up until the morning of May 8. To register, log into the site at http://events.riseagainsthunger.org/kerrville2021 and sign up.