By Heather Regula, Correspondent
Kids Against Hunger of Central Texas, a nonprofit organization which started in 2009, partnered up with UMHB’s Alumni Association for the association’s first service project at the Mayborn Campus Center on the UMHB campus on Thursday, June 29. “Our organization has approximately 14,000 members – anyone who graduates from UMHB is a member of the Alumni Association. I am excited about the opportunity our members have tonight. We have about 60 members signed up to help out tonight – divided over two shifts – 5:15pm-6:15 pm and 6:15pm-7:15 pm. Our goal is to package 18,000 meals,” said Jeff Sutton, Director of Alumni Relations. “Everyone has a role today, and we are all working together to help package meals that will be sent to Syria.”
Volunteering was a family affair for the Kelsey family.
“My wife, Melissa, is an alumnus of UMHB, and we came here tonight to see what we could do to help out. This is our first time participating in an event like this, and it is great that we could bring the kids,” said Michael Kelsey.
Betty Sue Craven Beebe, 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, is the UMHB Museum Curator.
“I graduated from UMHB in 1961 and have been involved with the Alumni Association for many years. I’ve never volunteered for any food packing before, and I am very excited about it. This is an enjoyable time for us to get together and it’s rewarding to know that our efforts are going towards helping people in Syria,” said Beebe.
The volunteers worked together to package the food, consisting of four key parts – beans, spices (made up of 21 vitamins and minerals), soy (provides protein), and rice (a global food staple). The groups worked in assembly line format to fill, seals, and place the labeled bags in boxes. One packed box contains 216 meals.
“This ingredient combination is designed to fight malnutrition locally and worldwide. The food packed tonight is going to Syria. We help out locally by donating meals regularly,” said Jeff Pedigo, Director of Kids Against Hunger of Central Texas. “In 2016, groups working with Kids Against Hunger packaged approximately 255,000 meals. Our goal for 2017 is to package 500,000 meals. UMHB has been a fantastic partner to us – from their students to faculty, and now to their Alumni Association.”
Individuals or groups interested in getting involved with Kids Against Hunger can visit www.kahcentx.org or call (254)300-1982. “Volunteering with Kids Against Hunger is scalable – we can accommodate just about any age, from 6 to 106! This opportunity gives people a hands-on experience that allows them to make a practical impact,” said Pedigo.