Over the past few months, I have had a chance to travel with Rise Against Hunger to assist in facilitating meal-packing events around the Midwest. The past two weekends have placed me in some very neat locations, given my interest in architecture.
On February 4, 2018, I was in the Detroit area with Rise Against Hunger at a church called Kirk in the Hills. The church sits on 40 acres and is adjacent to a large lake. I was able to find a break from my regular duties (I take care of the finished goods once they reach the truck) and walk around the campus, amazed at every turn. The main Sanctuary was completed in 1958 with some impressive stone details on the building’s façade. Just after I took a few pictures, the meal-packing event started and the congregation packed 20,000 meals in under two hours.
This past Saturday, I left home at 6:00 am to travel to Cincinnati for another 20,000-meal packing event. Westwood United Methodist Church is in the Westwood neighborhood in Cincinnati and the original portion of the building was completed in 1896, with many additions being completed since. Westwood United Methodist Church is named as a contributing building for the neighborhood being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The volunteers for this event numbered around 90 with many of them elderly but they completed their event in 2 hours, including transporting the finished meals down one story to the truck. We began driving north starting at about 1:30 pm for Sunday’s event after packing the meals and supplies that we needed for Sunday’s event.
St. John’s Evangelical Catholic Church, located in Delphos, OH was located across the street from St. John’s High School, where Sunday’s event was being held. This event involved a large portion of the community, reaching outside of the congregation to engage over 300 people out of the town’s population of 6,700. This event packed 30,000 meals and only took 90 minutes to complete due to the large number of volunteers. Once again, I was able to find some time before the event started to walk around the church. I had the chance to walk inside and see some of the most impressive stained glass that I have seen in my life as well.
While the drive and the destinations are fun, the real reason to do this is to pack meals. Rise Against Hunger has aligned the organizations goal with those of The United Nations to end world hunger by 2030. While there will still be short-term events that lead to localized hunger, endemic hunger does not need to affect 1 in 9 people in the world that are currently affected. The last picture shows what 50,000 meals look like after they have been packaged and placed on a 26-foot box truck. These meals will remain on pallets and inside the boxes until they reach the people that will eat them, likely within 4-6 months, in one of the communities that partners with Rise Against Hunger.
While it is difficult to give up weekends, these events provide great opportunities to learn (people around Detroit can’t stand inefficiencies in any process) and grow. I have had the chance to meet some great people from many different backgrounds and witness many of the netlogx Operating Principles at each event. If you would like to learn more about Rise Against Hunger, hosting events, or these locations, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-353-7603.