Student organization Terps Against Hunger prepared 15,000 food packages at the Memorial Chapel Tuesday to feed residents in need in the D.C. Metro area.
This is the organization’s third consecutive year working with the chaplains of Memorial Chapel to organize the food packaging event, Feed the Families of Metro D.C.
Volunteers had the opportunity to package food while listening to students of different religions speak about how their faith leads them to service.
The multi-faith aspect of this service project was a major part of the event.
“We have people from various religions coming together and talking about how their religion relates to service and how they give back to the community,” said Terps Against Hunger co-president Rishabh Chatterjee, a senior supply chain management and economics major.
Despite different beliefs, Chatterjee said this service project brought everyone together, helping achieve a greater goal of bettering the community.
“It’s not just an individual act that is going to benefit humanity,” said Haris Ansari, Muslim Student Association president and senior neurobiology and physiology major. “It’s from an individual perspective, faith perspective, and spiritual perspective.”
Volunteers prepared food packages of four main ingredients: vitamins, soy, vegetables and rice. The meals are rice-based, making them familiar to many cultures’ cuisines. The packages can be delivered internationally if needed.
After the food packages are packed and prepared, Terps Against Hunger will bring the bags back to their warehouse and reach out to different food banks and organizations. They will then send the food packages to the food banks who want them.
All of the packaged meals from this event were made with the intention of delivering to those in need within the Metro D.C. area.
Terps Against Hunger Vice President Chetveer Singh, a junior in the individual studies program, said that the issue of hunger is huge in America, especially in the D.C. area, where about two million people are malnourished.
Chatterjee estimates that there were about 140 people involved in the Feed the Families of Metro D.C. service project. These volunteers were of many different ages and faiths and decided to donate their time and effort to this project for a multitude of reasons.
“I was doing a project on foodways, and I realized a lot of people in America are hungry,” said freshman criminology and criminal justice major Melissa Lima, a volunteer at Tuesday’s event. “Since I am from Maryland, this was a good way to give back to my community.”