My column this time is about an organization that promotes a different kind of “culture” — what I call a “Culture of Volunteerism and Generosity.”

Imagine this: 50 people packaging 10,000 meals in just two hours.  STOP HUNGER NOW is an organization that coordinates volunteers who are ready to work for a couple of hours packaging healthful meals for people in need around the world.

On Veterans Day, Nov. 11th, Women For: Orange County provided the volunteers to participate in just such an event at IRWD’s “Duck Club” in Irvine.

There we were, 50 of us who donated $25 each so we could package 10,000 meals.  The Duck Club was alive with our activity.  Each package we put together consists of a plastic bag with rice, soy protein, dried vegetables and 21 essential vitamins and minerals.

The STOP HUNGER NOW organizers assigned us to various stations.  After filling the plastic bags, their contents are carefully weighed, and each bag is machine-sealed; the sealed bags are put in boxes.  “Runners” make sure these operations are coordinated, keeping an accurate count of our progress.  Each time we packaged 1,000 bags, a gong was sounded, eliciting cheers that kept us motivated.

There was great satisfaction knowing that these Guatemala-bound meals are going to be distributed through various developmental programs, skills training programs, and orphanages that provide holistic support to break the cycle of poverty.

For more information about STOP HUNGER NOW, go to: www.stophunger.org.  And for information about Women For: Orange County, go to: www.womenfororangecounty.org.

Marilyn Vassos

Marilyn Vassos

Marilyn Vassos is a retired Irvine teacher and long-time resident and supporter of Irvine’s cultural arts.
Marilyn Vassos