ELKINS – In less than an hour, 22,000 high-nutrition meals were packaged and boxed Sunday at Martin Field House on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. The third annual Rise Against Hunger event drew more than 400 volunteers including D&E students, faculty and staff, along with Elkins area residents.
An international organization, Rise Against Hunger partners with nonprofits to support a variety of development programs and distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable. This year, the D&E Student Assembly elected to provide $2,000 toward the program and issued a giving challenge to the College community with a dollar-for-dollar match.
“This event at Davis & Elkins College is definitely a lot of fun,” said Rise Against Hunger staffer Hannah Chenault. “I love how the community comes together to help. The lives that will be impacted by this effort is over 20,000.”
Elkins resident Kim White and her daughter, Samantha, volunteered for a second year in a row after learning of the project at Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church. This year, White brought along her mother, Sue Chenoweth. Her son, Elliot White, a D&E freshman, also volunteered alongside his Senator basketball teammates.
It was Kim White’s enthusiasm for the Rise Against Hunger project that convinced Chenoweth to join the effort. Another draw was supporting the alma mater she shares with her husband, Holt Chenoweth, and grandson Hunter Fath.
“It’s awesome how everybody pulls together,” Chenoweth said after the event. “They are all passionate about their jobs, and it gives you a good feeling to know you are helping people.”
Set up assembly line style, volunteers worked in teams to measure and weigh contents for the dehydrated meals, seal packages and box the products. The meals prepared Sunday will be distributed to school feeding programs in yet-to-be determined locations.
“D&E has put a spotlight on service right out of the gate this semester with a Freshmen Service Project during Orientation Weekend that focused locally. This event the second weekend on campus helps us round out the effort with a global perspective, both of which are crucial as our students become global citizens,” said Tina Vial, assistant director of institutional advancement: foundation and church relations, and organizer of the event. “I’m humbled by their effort and enthusiasm.”