The energy was high in Phoenix Activities & Recreation Center on Sept. 4, as over 100 students from Sullivan Foundation partner school Elon University packaged 30,000 meals in just two hours at the annual Rise Against Hunger meal-packing event, hosted by Elon Volunteers.

As music played to keep spirits up, students wore masks, hairnets and gloves and worked at both sides of 10 tables, moving efficiently to scoop ingredients into bags. Volunteers then weighed and sealed them, and the sealed bags were packed up into boxes that were loaded onto the Rise Against Hunger truck. Keeping with the event’s tradition, a gong rang every time students packed 5,000 meals.

“We went so fast that we actually missed a couple,” said Autumn Cox, a first-year Elon student. “I’ve never seen it before, and it ran so smoothly, they really have it down to a science.”

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Last year, the Elon community volunteers were able to pack 23,000 meals for the Rise Against Hunger event.

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization. Its goal is to end hunger across the globe. Rise Against Hunger regularly hosts meal-packing events, and this is the sixteenth time the event has been hosted at Elon.

After a year of virtual and hybrid events, students were excited to be attending the event in person. “I was really impressed and also just loved the energy of all the students,” Cox said, who is in her first year at Elon. “I’ve heard this from other campus partners that, especially this year, students are just so excited to be involved in things again.”

Some of the meals will be sent to Haiti, which was recently hit by an earthquake and then a tropical storm. Rise Against Hunger will follow up with volunteers to let them know where all of the meals have been sent.

This article has been edited slightly from the original version appearing on the Elon University website.

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