They say that for every 3.6 seconds somebody somewhere in the world dies of starvation. On March 7th, at the Simon Forum gymnasium of Drew University, communities in and around Madison came together to stop this statistic.
For on that Saturday, the fifth annual 3.6 End Hunger Project was held by members of Rotary Clubs across multiple counties in New Jersey, including Morris, Essex, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon and parts of Somerset County. Leading the fun was the Rotary Club of Madison; all happy and excited to get people together for a great cause.
“This is a tremendously rewarding thing,” said Ellsworth Havens, Florham park resident and district chair for the Food Insecurity/End Hunger for the Madison Rotary Club. “After this year, we will have packaged over one million meals. The food goes to over 40 different agencies through our district. With the food we collect today, there will be people who will get a good meal.”
The meals made by volunteers included mac and cheese, apple cinnamon oatmeal, minestrone soup, and rice and beans. The ingredients were vitamin-enriched, non-GMO, non-perishable, and easy and ready to cook. The meals were distributed to numerous feeding facilities and soup kitchens across the Garden State by rotary clubs.
Some of the recipient organizations which received these packaged meals include the Market Street Mission, in Morris County, St. John’s Soup Kitchen, in Newark, the M.E.N.D., in Essex County, the Salvation Army. These organization can have as much as over 500 feeding stations throughout New Jersey which benefit countless families.
In the history that the 3.6 End Hunger Project has been held, as much as 800 volunteers have attended and as much as 150,000 meals are packaged and sent out. But this year, Drew University saw approximately 1,000 volunteers attending and packaging a total of 185,000 meals. Volunteers ranged from rotary members to local Madison residents, including students from the local school district.
“This food collection has a great atmosphere and it’s a good opportunity for us students to get involved in something,” said 16-year-old Luke Voorhees, a junior at Madison High School.
Fellow classmate 17-year-old junior Michael Scheier felt the same way as he helped collected meals for hungry New Jersey families. Both boys came with over 40 classmates.
“It feels really good to give back,” said Scheier.“Everyone in Madison is very fortunate to be able to give to the less fortunate.”
To learn more information about the Rotary Club of Madison, and their upcoming events and activities, visit their website at www.madisonrotarynj.org.
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