St. Philip Neri Volunteers Pack Meals to Fight Global Hunger

More than 100 volunteers turned out Saturday at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport to sort, measure and pack food that will make meals for others in need around the world.

Robbie Gaines of Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization, said that the work being done Saturday provides protein-packed meals through several programs around the world.

“We know there is enough food  produced in this world for everybody to be fed, but there’s inequalities in the food system,” Gaines said. “That’s what we do, we support food security and economic empowerment.”

Rise Against Hunger supplies dried bulk foods such as rice and beans and  dehydrated vegetable blend, with volunteers measuring and packing those foods for redistribution. Sachet of vitamin powder are also added.

“The food is purposely made bland whenever they go out” to the 41 countries the organization supplies, Gaines said. Local organizations then provide spices to suit cultural preferences.

The St. Philip’s gym was packed with people who worked, assembly line fashion, as young children darted around and about, carrying out their tasks. Several men hefted large bags of rice, carrying them to tables where other volunteers were lined up, pouring bulk foods through funnels into bags that will provide meals for someone elsewhere in the world.  Others moved from table to table, supplying the volunteers with dehydrated foods, or packed up and sealed boxes, and still others hauled the filled boxes up the stairs to a pallet to be loaded onto trucks for transportation.

Saturday’s goal was to pack 35,000 meals.

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