A newspaper for ECU faculty and staff
Pieces of Eight

Volunteers packaged 250,000 meals for the world’s hungry at the Million Meals event held Aug. 23 at C.M. Eppes Middle School. The event was organized by ECU’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center. (Photo by Marc J. Kawanishi)

ECU Helps Fight Hunger

By Christine Neff

Recipe: One scoop of soy protein. One chicken-flavored vitamin tablet.

A spoonful of dried vegetables and a cup of rice.

Seal the ingredients in a plastic bag and box for transport.

This simple process, repeated thousands upon thousands of times across the state Saturday, Aug. 23, as part of the University Million Meals Event, will feed one million of the world’s hungriest people.

More than 750 volunteers from East Carolina University, churches, civic groups and other organizations in Greenville came out to C.M. Eppes Middle School to package the meals.

Volunteers at the event, which was organized by ECU’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center, put together 250,000 meals during three, four-hour shifts.

Similar events took place at colleges throughout North Carolina. In total, volunteers packaged a record-breaking one million meals in a single day.

“What we’re doing here today is taking an initial step in ending world hunger,” said Rick Kearney of Stop Hunger Now, the Raleigh-based hunger relief organization that planned the event.

The meals were transported to some of the most destitute regions of El Salvador, Haiti and India, according to Stop Hunger Now.

Meals destined for El Salvador will feed students enrolled in schools and technical skills training. The packages provided to Haiti will aid victims of a food shortage caused by rising prices. And in India, the meals will feed people affected by a rodent outbreak that wiped out rice crops.

Before the first shift, Marilyn Sheerer, ECU’s interim provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, thanked and motivated the volunteers.

“We’re making a dent in what is the world’s largest problem, in my perspective,” she said.

“Go get them!”

Other participating colleges were NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Peace College, Meredith College, Saint Augustine’s College, Duke University and NC Central University.

This page originally appeared in the Oct. 3, 2008 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at