Packing meals for the hungry is a very good thing to do because it helps so many people to have food on their tables. Sacred Heart Catholic School in New Smyrna Beach cared so much for the poor that, rooted in the school’s Redemptorist charism, they decided to run a large-scale fundraising event to help feed as many as they could possibly afford.
Let’s rewind to the beginning of our school story to understand how a school with 250 students managed to pack 11,000 meals for the organization “Rise Against Hunger.” Previously called “Stop Hunger Now”, the organization envisions the world without hunger and hopes to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable. It has made a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources through volunteer partners, like Sacred Heart!
Here’s how the students and faculty successfully packed 11,000 meals: The school organized a homeless lockout to educate students on the plight of our homeless brothers and sisters in our community, while at the same time raising money to host a meal-packing event. The money raised from the lockout amounted to $3,200 and was used to buy the food so that meals could be packed.
Everyone who helped during the homeless lockout was invited to the “Rise Against Hunger” meal-packing event, from the parish Council of Catholic Women members to priests, grandparents, parents, sponsors, teachers, and students from Pre-K to eighth grade. It was fun to pack food. Everyone wore a red headwrap and packed in stations. There were three to four people at each station packing meals and each station had rice, grains, and vitamins. The meals were put in a bag with an expiration date, then sealed with a bag sealer. Cooking instructions were also provided so the recipients would have a warm, delicious meal!
The 11,000 meals Sacred Heart School packed were then shipped to Haiti through the Salesian Missions, an organization founded by St. John Bosco. Our meals supported their project called “Hunger for Education” which improves food security among vulnerable students in Haiti.
Article written by Patrick, a sixth grade student at Sacred Heart Catholic School in New Smyrna Beach. Photos taken by June Ward, a Sacred Heart teacher.