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Ohio Northern comes together to Pack Away Hunger

David MacDonald prepares to participate in packing over 40,000 nutrition-balanced meals in the Pack Away Hunger event. (Northern Review photo/ Brittany Newton)

On January 24, students of Ohio Northern will participate in Pack Away Hunger. This event will be held in the north and middle gyms of King Horn from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. During the event, students will work together to package over 40,000 meals to send to both a local food bank and Haiti in the stride to end world hunger.

This volunteer opportunity is open to all who are willing to participate. Students should expect to partake in a brief training session and then form an assembly line where they will put together multiple packages of rice, dried vegetables, soy meal and nutrients that will then be vacuum packed and sent out locally and internationally to benefit those in need. Each package can feed a family of six people. Out of the 40,051 meals to be packed, 25 percent of them will go to the Ada Food Pantry and 75 percent will go to Haiti.

David MacDonald, University Chaplain, talks about what students are can expect to take away from the volunteer opportunity.

“Even though it seems like a very small part, everybody plays a part in this kind of thing. Just the fact that we can take 150 people and in just two hours and pack over 40,000 meals, which if you multiply that by six people a family, that is thousands of people we are helping,” said MacDonald.  

Pack Away Hunger is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the lives of those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. To do this, the organization reaches out to universities and other volunteer organizations to pack and provide millions of pre-packaged nutrition balanced meals all around the world, including the U.S.

According to Pack Away Hunger, in the United States 15.8 million children do not have regular access to healthy meals.  In developing countries one out of six children – roughly 100 million – are underweight, the result of acute or chronic malnutrition. Pack Away Hunger was founded by a minister who spent time working on missions in Guatemala. During his time on these missions, he noticed one of the most pressing needs in the area was to have food that was non-perishable and nutritionally beneficial to the families facing hunger.

Within the meal package, there is a nutrient pouch that is to be poured into the meal while cooking. The nutrient package was developed by the Mathile Institute, which was founded by Clayton L. Mathile, an alumni and former basketball player of Ohio Northern. The Mathile Institute, which is an institution that strives to end world hunger and malnutrition to improve the nutritional health of the world’s children, partnered with Pack Away Hunger to complete their mission.

 “This is a partnership experience with both our local food bank and with the people in Haiti. We’re not just doing one or the other. We’re doing both. It’s that global perspective of think globally, act locally,” said MacDonald.  

This is the first time Ohio Northern has been a part of the Pack Away Hunger mission. After packing over 40,000 meals to benefit over 240,000 people, students, staff and faculty will make the footprint in the fight against world hunger and malnutrition.

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