Concordia, Chicago, volunteers pack 200,000 meals for Haiti

Nearly 800 volunteers packed 200,000 meals for children in Haiti after a three-day service project at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill.

The Oct. 9-11 cus-feed.gifevent was organized by Concordia Professor of Human Performance Bill Duey and students in his freshman “Freedom and Responsibility” course, in conjunction with the humanitarian organization Feed My Starving Children.

Duey and the class organized students from Grace and St. Luke Lutheran schools in River Forest and Walther Lutheran Academy in Forest Park, community volunteers, and parishioners from churches throughout the Chicago area, who gathered at Concordia’s South Geiseman Gymnasium to pack the meals.  Also taking part were faculty, staff, and students from the university.

The volunteers packaged a food mixture developed by Feed My Starving Children that includes rice, extruded soy nuggets, vitamins, minerals, and a vegetarian chicken flavoring.  The 200,000 meals produced are expected to feed 462 children for a year, according to the university.

“There was so much more going on here than just showing up for a couple of hours to package food,” said Duey.  “I’m in awe of what I see in people to serve and make a difference in the world.”

Duey’s freshman class annually organizes a benefit project as part of Concordia’s emphasis on learning through service.  This year was the first that the class worked with Feed My Starving Children.

Concordia students researched the organization and need for its mission, met with its representatives, and prepared lesson plans for classes at the three participating elementary schools.

“With this project, the learning for our students has really come through service and teaching younger students,” Duey said.  “It has really been a way to think about our blessings.  Lord willing, we’ll be able to raise the resources to do this again and serve next year.”

Posted Nov. 6, 2008

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