DARTMOUTH — More than 300 volunteers — UMass Dartmouth students, staff, faculty and community members — filled the Tripp Athletic Center on Tuesday to literally fill thousands of bags with nutritious food that will go to developing nations.
Dressed in blue UMass Dartmouth T-shirts, and donning red food service caps and wearing plastic gloves, the volunteers manned each of their packing stations, carefully weighing ingredients, and filling and sealing each bag while listening to pop tunes being played over the loud speakers.
Matthew Roy, assistant civic chancellor at UMass, organized the RISE Against Hunger event. He said the volunteers packaged 20,000 meals in less than an hour.
“Those meals are going to school feeding programs in developing nations,” Roy said, adding RISE Against Hunger supports 74 developing nations.
Volunteers also donated nonperishable items for Arnie's Cupboard, the on-campus food pantry that helps students. "With this effort today, we're not only feeding children in developing nations, but also feeding the hungry on our own campus," Roy said.
“It is our opportunity as a UMass Dartmouth community to help abolish hunger throughout the world,” said UMass Chancellor Robert E. Johnson, who helped with the event. “In a planet with over 7 billion people, there are a lot of people who have food insecurity.” He said the university’s efforts through the RISE Against Hunger initiative will help alleviate some of those food insecurities.
The event was part of the university's weeklong celebration of Johnson's inauguration, which is at 11 a.m. Friday on campus. Learn more about the week at umassd.edu/inauguration/events/.