Students pack 10,000 meals to help end hunger
Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Wednesday afternoon more than 60 students from St. Aloysius High School and Vicksburg and Warren Central High schools donned hair nets, aprons and gloves at the St. Aloysius gym to package 10,000 meals to help end hunger in Vicksburg.
“We’re going to pack 10,000 meals of red beans and rice,” said Madalyn Burke, St. Aloysius student body president and chairman of the school’s second Feeding Our Community project. “These meals will be distributed to local Warren County programs that help to feed the hungry.”
The project was being done in connection with Families First and United Way of West Central Mississippi
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She said the meals will be distributed to Haven House, United Way, River City Rescue Mission and Lifting Lives Ministry.
Burke said the inspiration for the project came from a school she attended in Chicago, Illinois, about two years ago.
“We packed 50,000 meals to be distributed,” she said. “When I came home, I decided that in the Vicksburg community and with Vicksburg Catholic Schools this would be a great project for us to do to benefit our community.”
She said red beans and rice were selected “because that is the most wholesome meal that could be cooked for lunch and dinner and be a whole meal for somebody.”
She said 5,000 red beans and rice meals were packed during the 2018 Feeding Our Community project.
Four tables were set up in the St. Aloysius gym, each holding the ingredients for the meals and instructions on how to prepare the packages.
After donning the hairnets, gloves and aprons, the students lined both sides of the tables to begin preparing the meals and filling the boxes.
“I am so glad to be here in this gymnasium to see everyone from all across the community come together for something that is very important and dear to my heart,” Michele Connelly, United Way executive director, told the students.
Connelly said one in four children in Warren County do not know where their next meal will come form. “That is over 2,500 children in our community who do not know where their next meal is coming from. What you’re doing today means hope, because what you’re doing today is packing 10,000 meals to address this issue.
“You give the substance that people need in order to be satisfied so they can be successful. Thank you very much.”
“In this program to day, you’re being able to feed the hungry,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “The biggest part of leadership is when you stand up and do for somebody who is the least fortunate. When you stand up and make a difference in the lives of the people in your community.”