Saturday was an important day for our club. We had our first meal packaging event in three years. Close to 50 volunteers and 16 Rotarians from out club were on hand for the 10: 00 AM starting time and by 11:45 AM better than 10,000 meals were packaged and boxed for a as yet unknown destination. They will be held in a local warehouse until we have enough meals to fill a cargo container at which time they will be shipped off to an orphanage somewhere in the world where it is needed.

When children do not receive a good lunch they become lethargic in the afternoon and teaching them is extremely difficult. Consequently they receive less than optimum education. But when they are provided a nourishing meal at noon. They stay “engaged” through the afternoon. This improves their education, making them more likely to find good employment after their schooling years. This in turn makes them less likely to depend on handouts from local charities and the state. The goal of all of this is to break the poverty cycle.

Rise Against Hunger has several unique characteristics. First, it only ships the packaged food to schools and orphanages that already have the facilities to prepare the food. The key to this, is the packaged meals are blended with local meats and spices so as not present aromas and tastes that are unfamiliar to the children. Second the schools and orphanages must accept girls as well as boys into their facilities. So often in underprivileged areas the girls are left out of the educational process.

A few interesting facts are:

  • Our Rotary club has packaged more than 420,000 meals since we took it on as a project back in 2013.
  • Rotary international has packaged more than 80,000 since starting the program.
  • Rise Against Hunger packaged and shipped 17,000,000 meals in 2021.
  • And nobody knows how many meals they have packaged and shipped since their inception.

It’s an amazing program run by an amazing organization and one which our little Rotary Club tucked away in Massachusetts can be quite proud of. President Paula can be justifiably proud of what our club has done this year. And a giant WELL DONE to all those that helped.