LocalGlobal, a student organization on campus that has been addressing hunger and homelessness since 2003, shattered their meal-packing goals while participating in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Nov. 10-15.
“Our main goal, of this entire week really, is to not only help the need of hunger and homelessness that we have in Hastings, nationally and globally, but to also help raise awareness on our own campus so the students can be more educated,” said Savanna Rosenbaum, co-chair of LocalGlobal.
LocalGlobal’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week events kicked off on Friday, Nov. 10, when Hearts and Hands Against Hunger (HHAH), Orphan Grain Train and Hastings athletic teams brought in supplies to pack 80,000 Mercy Meals which included rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and chicken-flavored broth mix. Hastings Student Union rooms A and B were filled with community members, faculty, staff, students and entire classes lining tables. These volunteers poured ingredients into a bag which were weighed and scaled before being packed into boxes.
The four ingredients in the meals are rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a chicken-flavored broth mix that is enriched with vitamins and minerals to give recipients extra nutrition to heal, grow, and become strong enough to
The event ended with 81,296 meals packing in less than two-thirds of the scheduled time. In addition, a special celebration to mark Hearts and Hands of Hastings packing its five millionth meal.
“I think it (packing five million meals) speaks so well of us in our area, and I’m not the only one who thinks that. We know that the people of Nebraska are special,” said Pastor Renee Johnson, event coordinator of HHAH.
The week continued when LocalGlobal sponsored an educational game of Family Feud on Monday, Nov. 13. Five teams slammed a buzzer in hopes of guessing a correct answer to questions concerning hunger and homeless, including where the homeless commonly sleep, what are the most impoverished cities and states, and what items homeless people need the most.
LocalGlobal succeeded again on Tuesday, Nov. 14, when they surpassed their goal of 2,500 sandwiches in two hours. The event was scheduled to go from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m., but they finished with an estimated 250 extra sandwiches before 6:30 p.m.
“All of these lunches go to people in our own community. Sometimes when you’re just living on a college campus, you don’t realize how much hunger and homelessness there is, specifically in Hastings, so it’s a really great event because it helps connect the college to the community and helps the college give back to the community in a way that we don’t normally get to,” Rosenbaum said.
The sandwiches made Tuesday night were packed Wednesday and went to the Catholic Social Services’ Open Table Sack Lunch Program. It is a no-questions asked, free lunch program for community members.
“In all the business of classes, of life, we are still taking some time to help some others, so thank you, (students),” said Dr. Travis Feezell, president of Hastings College. “It does mean a lot, and it’s represented in what is most important at Hastings College.”