Thousands of volunteers from across the country have descended on D.C. to take a bite out of hunger. They’re dedicating two days to pack 1 million meals for hungry families here at home and internationally.
Many of those hard at work at the Washington Convention Center are just kids. It’s a heartwarming sight with a big payoff.
Each volunteer can package between 150 and 200 meals an hour, an assembly line feeding hope for those struggling to put food on the table.
“Some of us really need help,” says Bowden Saunders of Prince George’s County.
Saunders, 17, is trying to reverse some sobering statistics. Every six seconds a child dies from hunger-related causes. One out of every two D.C. children doesn’t know where tomorrow’s meal is coming from.
“It’s just a rush every time I get another bag,” Saunders says. “It’s like 390, 390. I’m getting so close to that perfect weight.”
Each “Kids Against Hunger” bag is stuffed with 390 grams of goodness, which equals about six meals.
“The food that we’re packaging, a person only needs to eat one cup of it to get all the nutrients and vitamins they need every day to survive,” says Ron Osterbauer, the CEO of Kids Against Hunger. “All they have to do is cook them and add water. It’s really simple, really easy to make and they’re delicious.”
Alberta Allen of Fort Washington is scooping rice with her 13-year-old grandson.
"He needed some community time so I said come on,” she says.
Allen is making sure Omar realizes how lucky he is and continues her family’s tradition of paying it forward.
“He’s blessed to have a parent who cares and feeds him the right way,” she says.
Half of the 1 million meals packaged will be donated to D.C. Central Kitchen. The other half are heading to Fenguese Pierre’s homeland of Haiti.
“You’re helping out and you also get a great appreciation for what you have,” Pierre says.
More volunteers are needed for Tuesday’s packing day. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you're interested in volunteering, click here.