Love Haiti packs 100,000 meals for impoverished nation

Video: C2M's George Yanez provides a look into the event.

Updated: Nov. 12 at 10:51 a.m.

Despite millions of dollars in aid money, countless humanitarians helping to rebuild infrastructure and worldwide support, Haiti is still devastated from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struk Jan. 12.

But yesterday, George Mason University united through Love Haiti to pack 100,000 meals for the people of the damaged Caribbean nation.

Love Haiti, a meal-packing event sponsored by GMU’s Campus Crusade for Christ, with Feeding Children Everywhere and Open Door Haiti, asked students to stop by Student Union Building II and pack a few meals for only a few moments or all day. The goal was to make and pack 100,000 meals to be distributed to Haitian relief efforts.

“We wanted to do something that would unite the whole campus together. We know that with college students, every college student, no matter what group their in, nope matter what faith they’re part of, everyone has a common ground in having a heart for humanitarian work and wanting to help people in need,” said Brett Miller, director for CRU at Mason.

When students arrived to the event, they were visited an anti-bacterial cleaning station where they received a hairnet. From there they went to one of seven packing stations to scoop out portions of a rice medley.

The mixture, which was made of rice and soy protein, contained 14 different types of dehydrated vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, onions and tomatoes. Also in the mixture was a yellow vitamin powder that according to Kile Riggs, the global director of operations for Feeding Children Everywhere, was scientifically designed to reverse the effects of malnutrition on children.

Each bag of rice, vitamins and vegetables equated to six meals that when cooked will expand and make an entire pot of food. Each bag also contains the equivalent protein of three and a half steaks.

In total, 36 different student organizations joined CRU to help pack meals. Student athletes were also required to participate in the event.

Each meal, plus shipping, costs 28 cents to make and send. To help cover the cost of $28,000 Love Haiti has pushed the selling of their red Love Haiti shirts. The shirts, which cost $20 each, will help offset the cost of the meals.

As of today, according to CRU member and Love Haiti Coordinator Lauren Cafferty, Love Haiti had raised about $10,000 but were confident they would reach their goal through fundraising and further selling of the t-shirts.

In addition to the Love Haiti main event, the Mason community was invited to donate toys, clothes, rubbing alcohol and other goods to Love Haiti’s Storage Box. Monetary donations were also accepted.

Students who attended the events were also able to take free items such as Bibles and informational packets.

“We are a Christian organization, but this is strictly a humanitarian event,” said Miller, “we do this because God has loved us so much and [this] is the outflow of that love . . . [by helping] people in need. Not only does God care about our spiritual needs, but our physical as well. We want to be a model of that to the university.

This was a way to connect with the whole university . . . and do something really big. We know that with all the students here we can do something really big for a country and really help a country in a great way.”

By 3:20 p.m. yesterday, nearly three hours before the event was to end, Love Haiti had reached their goal of 100,000 meals packed that would feed 600,000 people, said Cafferty.

For now, according to Riggs, the meals will be stored at the Feeding Children Everywhere warehouse in Florida until December. The meals will then be combined with another packing event's meals and then shipped to Haiti in a container that holds 250,000 meals.

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