by Haley Scheuer
On Saturday, March 25, Drew University hosted the Madison Rotary Club’s Annual End Hunger 3.6 Event to help fight hunger in the Madison community and the state of New Jersey. With over 500 volunteers, including the Mayor of Madison Robert Conley the event was divided into two shifts, starting at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The Madison Rotary teamed up with The Outreach Program, who provided necessary supplies and distributed five different types of meal ingredients. These ingredients ranged from mac and cheese to pasta with Italian tomato basil sauce, among a wide variety of other packaged meals. These meals are sent to disaster preparedness and relief shelters, school backpack programs, food banks and pantries, and food aid facilities that reach over 1.5 million people, who otherwise do not know where their next meal is coming from.
People of all ages participated in the event, with over 25 groups, including churches, non-profit organizations, community organizations and 15 Rotary Clubs from District 7470. Not only does this event provide relief for those in need, but it also builds strong community ties, goodwill, volunteer opportunities for all ages and service learning opportunities. For nearly two hours volunteers poured, measured and packaged meals that would provide relief to children, women, the homeless, senior citizens, veterans and those in need. By the end of the day, it was calculated that over 123,000 meals had been made for those in need, which almost increased the amount made last year by 70,000. The goal for next year’s relief is to distribute more than 200,000 meals. Many volunteers reported that they felt participating was a very rewarding experience. One major takeaway for events of this aim is that hunger does not discriminate against those who are affected.