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Faculty assist with Kids Against Hunger

Faculty assist with Kids Against Hunger

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

By Carissa Lucas ’10

In early November, in an old furniture store in Temple, 18,000 meals were packaged by University of Mary Hardin-Baylor faculty for Kids Against Hunger, an organization that packages and delivers food to children all over the world. The meals packaged by the UMHB faculty will be delivered to Haiti, where they will feed thousands of starving children.

Assistant Professor of Music Deborah Jones had worked with Kids Against Hunger in a church fellowship group in the past and felt it would be of interest to UMHB faculty.

“Working with Kids Against Hunger was just such a tremendous experience,” said Jones. “Everyone who experienced it was so thrilled to be a part of this project.”

The Christian Planning Committee, which is part of the university’s Faculty Assembly, and of which Jones is the chair, was looking for a way for faculty to volunteer as a group.

“We’re trying to focus more on service as a university, so we thought the faculty needed to do a service project. We wanted to do something really big, so I brought up the Kids Against Hunger organization and the committee just loved it,” said Jones.

The idea was presented to the faculty at their first meeting, and the idea was voted on and passed. This was the first year the faculty has done a big service project as a group.

Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science Matt Lovett also serves on the Christian Planning Committee and was in charge of gathering donations from faculty for the service project. He was excited to work with his fellow colleagues to help out a great organization.

“Our faculty is segmented across campus, we all kind of stay in our own little world,” said Lovett. “It was good to meet people across campus, hangout and interact with them, especially for something that’s such a good cause.”

In order to get the food and be able to package it, the faculty had to raise enough money. They were able to raise about $3000, which was enough for the 18,000 meals to be packaged for children of Haiti.

Assistant Professor of Nursing, Becky Bunn, also on the committee, was in charge of scheduling faculty members for one of the two shifts that would be packaging the food.

“We had two groups of 40 faculty members,” said Bunn. “My group was from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., and the second group was from 5:30 to 7 p.m.”

The volunteers, many of whom brought their children and grandchildren to assist, formed an assembly line, donning hairnets and aprons, and they packaged meals containing 21 vitamins and minerals, soy, vegetables and rice. The soy and nutrient-rich formula reverses the starvation process. The food was mainly a powder form, except for the rice, and when added to boiling water can be prepared in 20 minutes.

Bunn and her colleagues enjoyed working together for Kids Against Hunger and hope to continue the tradition the faculty has started.

“Some of us in the College of Nursing were saying we kind of hope that we make this a yearly project,” said Bunn. “It makes a difference not only for the children in Haiti, but in how we feel. We were doing something together as a faculty, that was going to make a difference in other people’s lives.”