GTI students work to stop hunger worldwide

Hundreds of GTI students have worked with Stop Hunger Now to end hunger in this lifetime. Since April, the meals packaged by GTI students have been sent to Haiti and the Central African Republic.

Most recently, the students participating in GTI’s Summer Academic Program (SAP) joined an RTP company to package meals. Three Chinese universities (Xiamen University, Beijing Forestry University and Donghua University) sent 25 students to NC State this summer. This is the fourth year the GTI hosted the one month long program.

DSC00184On Saturday, July 19, SAP students engaged in a fun, hands-o volunteering experience. It was hosted by Kuehne and Nagel, a logistics firm that donated their warehouse and raised $35,000 for Stop Hunger Now. At the event, volunteers packaged meals to be sent to countries in need. These particular meals will be shipped to Nicaragua.

The goal of Stop Hunger Now is to end hunger in our lifetime. While this is a lofty goal, organizers have an efficient way to go about it. They do not spend any money on advertising. Instead, they rely on word-of-mouth and enthusiastic volunteers to spread the word. When they ship food to countries in need, they distribute it to children through a school lunch program. This encourages children to get an education, because going to school means getting a meal that day. Food is also distributed to health clinics and reliable community centers. 130421070839_meal

The meals are a highly nutritious mixture of dried foods – soy, rice, dehydrated vegetables, and a vitamin packet. One small bag equals six meals, and all they need to do is boil it in water. At the warehouse, volunteers were assigned to different stations in an assembly-line fashion. It started with funneling the ingredients into a bag, then measuring and weighing, sealing the bag, and then packing the bags in shipment-ready boxes. This was by no means boring work! Music was played, and each time a pallet was filled (11 boxes, each containing 36 bags, which totaled 2,376 meals), it was celebrated with cheers and claps. At the end of the event, more than 106,000 meals had been packaged.

Students from Nagoya University visited the Stop Hunger Now warehouse in June to learn about their operations and package 4,000 meals. Those meals were shipped to Haiti to help Convoy of Hope, which serves more than 50,000 meals per day to children in schools and orphanages across Haiti, as well as Salesian Missions in the Central African Republic.

In April, International Cultural Leadership Project (ICLP) participants joined the Office of International Service’s ISSERV volunteers for a large 30,000 meal packaging event hosted by the GTI.