Friday, May 13, 2011

Whitworth steps up to host Feed the Hunger's final stop

Students packaged more than 10,000 meals for the hungry

On April 2, Whitworth students met in the Duvall Hall lounge to package more than 10,000 meals in two hours as part of Feed the Hunger, a citywide, multi-staged event sponsored by Spokane-based Generation Alive.

Generation Alive is a nonprofit that seeks to move young people to follow Jesus by acting compassionately toward the hurting and suffering of their generation. It was founded by Jeremy Affeldt, a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants who grew up in Spokane and lives here during the off-season.

Generation Alive's goal with the Feed the Hunger project was to package 100,000 meals that would be divided between the Union Gospel Mission, the Salvation Army and Second Harvest. The kickoff event took place in January at the Service Station, a Spokane coffee house and events center. Several Whitworth students participated in that initial event and helped package about 80,000 meals. A few months later, Whitworth stepped up to help package the remaining 10,000 meals needed to reach the goal.

Duvall senator, sophomore Rebecca Cuniff, coordinated Feed the Hunger's stop at Whitworth.

"We did the event at Whitworth because the goal was to get students involved in this process," Cuniff says. "Since the event was hosted in Duvall it was really easy for students to come and get involved."

The event was a huge success, Cuniff says, adding that the roughly 35 Whitworth students involved packaged even more than the targeted 10,000 meals.

"People were able to see exactly where their efforts were going, which was a pretty cool opportunity. They were able to help people and bond with their fellow Whitworth students," Cuniff says. "I know packaging food sounds really boring and mundane, but it isn't. It was exciting and fast-paced, and all of the stations were competing with the other stations to see who could package the most food."

Each meal costs about 25 cents to package and consists of rice, soy protein, dried vegetables and vitamin powder.

"There have already been incredible improvements in the children to whom we send these meals," says Carla LaFayette, senior director of Generation Alive. "The nutrients are making a difference."

LaFayette says Whitworth's mission to "honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity" aligns well with that of Generation Alive. And she's looking forward to working with Whitworth students on other projects in the future, such as its next Feed the Hunger goal of providing 256,000 meals to orphanages in Gulu, Uganda.

For more information on Generation Alive and Feed the Hunger, please visit http://www.generationalive.org/.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contact:

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703, or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.