Staff members from Raleigh-based Greystone Affordable Housing Initiatives LLC (GAHI) teamed up with the international relief organization, Stop Hunger Now (SHN), on Friday, March 30th to package meals for schoolchildren in third-world countries. The event was part of Greystone’s 2012 Charitable Giving and Volunteerism initiative that encourages its employees to give back to the community both locally and abroad.
Stop Hunger Now has perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into highly nutritious meal packets. Each meal packet costs only 25 cents and contains six servings. SHN utilizes partners and volunteers around the world to assemble and distribute these nutritional meals.
Through a fun and engaging assembly line process, volunteers can package as many as 250 meals each in just two hours, depending upon their individual speed. “As a team-building, volunteer exercise, our group of nine employees packaged over 4000 meals, and Greystone proudly matched our sweat equity with the dollars needed to buy the raw materials we used,” said Tanya Eastwood, Managing Director of Greystone Affordable Housing Initiatives LLC. “We estimate that we used 400lbs of rice, 200lbs of soy and about 20lbs of dehydrated vegetables in packaging these meals,” added Ms. Eastwood.
Because children in impoverished areas are often sent to school if their parents know they will be fed, SHN focuses on meals being prepared and served at places of learning. When asked why Greystone chose Stop Hunger Now as one of its charities to support in 2012, Ms. Eastwood replied, “We were impressed with SHN’s philosophy of coupling good nutrition with education as a pivotal intervention that allows communities to break down the poverty cycle and become more self-sufficient.”
According to SHN, over time, communities can heal themselves as learners become empowered adults who can tackle the issues of infant mortality, crime, disease and gender equality.
About Stop Hunger Now
Stop Hunger Now is a Raleigh-based international hunger relief organization founded in 1998 that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. The organization is driven by a vision of a world without hunger in our lifetime, and a mission of transformation through education: coordinating the funding of meal-packaging events with an outcomes-based distribution strategy. For more information about SHN, go to www.stophungernow.org.