SJR State to host Stop Hunger Now event

Rotaract ClubThe Rotaract Club at St. Johns River State College’s Orange Park campus is hard at work preparing to assemble more than 10,000 meals as part of a Stop Hunger Now packaging event. In a two-hour period on March 4, students, employees and volunteers from neighboring Rotaract clubs will gather to package meals for distribution to national and international locations where lack of food is the cause of malnutrition and other health issues.

According to SJR State student Gary Scott, Rotaract district liaison and co-chair of the event, “We want to be a part of the solution for the 795 million people who are malnourished in the world today.” The club’s mission aligns with Rotary International’s theme for this year, which is “Be a gift to the world.” The packaging event also ties in with World Rotaract Week. Scott said he is grateful that he and his club members have banned together to create awareness about hunger while demonstrating how the community can work side by side to support the critical issue.

Anna Lebesch, Ed.D., executive director of the Orange Park campus and vice president for workforce development, said, “The Rotaract Club really takes the motto ‘Service Above Self’ literally and strives to provide service to others. This event is just one example of how they want to make the world a better place.”

In order to host the Stop Hunger Now event, the club was required to raise $3,500 to cover the costs for 10,152 meals, packaging and supplies. This goal was reached thanks to support from fundraisers and local donors, along with SJR State’s Student Government Association, the Writer’s Club, and faculty and staff.

In addition to Stop Hunger Now employees who will oversee the event, Scott anticipates that about 50 volunteers will be present to work in teams at packaging stations to fill bins with raw ingredients, scoop ingredients into meal bags, weigh and seal the bags, box and stack them on pallets, and load the pallets and equipment onto a truck. The meals consist of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix that includes 23 vitamins and minerals.

In addition to increasing awareness about world hunger while following a guided approach to help the community fight it, Scott is grateful that Stop Hunger Now has also helped him and fellow Rotaract members to increase their skills associated with leadership, goal-setting, teamwork, problem-solving and relationship-building with each other, the College and the community at large.

For more information, contact Rotaract advisor Terri Dew at 904-276-6813. Learn more about Stop Hunger Now at