BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Sixth grader Teresa Schneiszer, at Eisenhower Intermediate School, introduced Stop Hunger Now to her school – and with her classmates, they put together 10,000 packages of food for children in need.
Students at Eisenhower gathered together June 17 to package rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and vitamin packets together to be given to Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief organization with a vision to stop world hunger.
According to Schneiszer, she was visiting her father for Take Your Child to Work Day in 2014, and one of the activities set up for the kids was to package meals.
“We did 5,000 packages with 45 people in one hour,” she said.
When she returned to school, Schneiszer said, she wanted to try the program there.
“It inspired me,” she said. “It is sad to think kids in other countries don’t have what we have.”
Schneiszer spoke to guidance counselor Kimberly Patullo about bringing the program there.
Throughout this school year, Patullo and mathematics teacher Stephanie Rovi ran a program to raise money by having students sell David’s Cookies & Cheesecakes. They raised more than $10,000, which they used for the materials to move forward with the Stop Hunger Now program.
“The packages get sent out when they are needed,” Schneiszer said. “They had sent packages to Nepal and Madagascar. And they send them all over the United States.”
Students worked in groups, with some combining the rice and soy into bags, others measuring the bags and more putting them into boxes for shipping.
Latoya Gillyard, program logistics coordinator for Stop Hunger Now, was on hand to lead the students in putting the packages together. She said the organization goes to churches, schools and corporations to put the packages together.
According to Gillyard, a 10,000-meal event is the smallest they do, and the program is 29 cents per meal, for $2,900 in total.
Gillyard said Kraft donates the vitamins, and they put the packaged meals in programs based in schools in all different areas, including overseas.
“The kids have to go to school to get the packages,” she said.
Patullo said the students were able to reach their goal of putting together 10,000 packages.
“The kids were amazing and really were like speed demons once they were in the groove,” she said. “It was for a great cause, and the kids really did enjoy themselves while helping thousands of individuals at the same time.”