On March 6 and 7, Tech’s Mobilizing Opportunities for Volunteer Experience (MOVE) will hold their second annual Sting Hunger Now Event as the culmination of their Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. They have raised over $38,000 to meet their goal of packaging 250,000 meals to feed the hungry in developing countries through the international hunger relief agency Stop Hunger Now.
MOVE is composed of 14 committees, each dedicated to creating volunteer opportunities for Tech faculty, staff, and students in their own unique way. The oldest of the committees, Techwood Tutorial Project, is dedicated to educating Atlanta’s elementary students and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014. For this event MOVE’s Hunger and Homelessness Committee is collaborating with the Christian Campus Fellowship (CCF) during the latter’s Week of Compassion.
Last year, the event packaged 100,242 meals, and it is their goal to more than double that number this year. They expect 1,200 volunteers to participate over the two day event. According to Stop Hunger Now’s website, stophungernow.org, 50 volunteers are able to package 10,000 meals in two hours, which means if 1,200 volunteers participate for two hours, 240,000 could be meals packaged, provided they raise enough funds to provide that many meals.
Stop Hunger Now requires $0.25 for each of their fortified rice-soy meals packaged which means Sting Hunger could be limited by how much is raised for the event.
With over $38,000 of their $75,000 goal raised from about 30 different sources, and more funds being sought through corporate sponsorship and grants, MOVE submitted bill 14J137 to the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR) for $19,440 to help pay event costs. The GSS amended the bill to $3,540 before passing it. When it went before UHR it was amended to match the GSS without discussion before it passed the House.
“We are grateful to have received funding from SGA and to know they are supportive of our event and our goal of engaging students, faculty, and staff in a service project that addresses global hunger,” said MOVE’s Vice President of Communications Robert Johnson, when asked about the effect of receiving so much less than was requested from SGA.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 842 million people, roughly one in eight, suffer from chronic undernourishment in 2011-2013. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) reports that 200 million of those are children, in addition, “Undernourishment kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS combined.” In a 2011 report UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, said, “Undernourishment contributes to 2.6 million deaths of children under five each year.”
In 2013 Sting Hunger Now’s more than 100,000 meals were among the seven million to date that have gone to Haiti to aid in disaster relief.
This year, they expect their meals will be among 1 million sent to help relieve the situation in the Philippines, though Stop Hunger Now will ultimately determine which of the world’s hungry are in need of their aid.
Donations can be made through a link on that page and are displayed as a gold bar at the top of the site, well short of the $75,000 goal.
“Every dollar we receive allows us to package more meals, so we may have to scale back the number of meals we will be able to make this year, but we still expect to be able to at least package 200,000 meals and have a successful event,” Johnson said.
The event will take place in Bobby Dodd Stadium from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Saturday.
For more information, or to volunteer, the event website at is at stingpoverty.org/hunger.