MOSAIC participant, Amol Shirodkhar participated in the 2018 Service Project Rise Against Hunger as part of the year long program of interfaith and multi-cultural learning for teens in Monmouth County. He wrote the following article which was published in the Central Jersey News Blog. 100 Teens, friends and family got together to package 18,000 meals in under 3 hours, bonding with one another in the effort.
On Sunday, March 11, the Garden State MOSAIC youth program partnered with the non-profit organization Rise Against Hunger to prepare and package meals for people in Uganda. Garden State MOSAIC is a program for teenagers that focuses on building interfaith tolerance, serving the community, and developing leadership skills in high school students. Rise Against Hunger, formerly Stop Hunger Now, is a non profit organization that coordinates the packaging and distribution of food to people in need internationally. Beverley Scarano, an active volunteer in both Rise Against Hunger and MOSAIC, coordinated the fundraiser aspect of this event. The initial goal was to raise $3000 in order to package 10,000 meals (each meal costs $0.30). However, the MOSAIC community almost doubled this goal, raising approximately $5400, allowing for the packaging of 18,000 meals.
Nick Dimare, representative of Rise Against Hunger, purchased supplies to package the meals with the money raised by the MOSAIC community. These supplies were shipped to Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan, where MOSAIC volunteers packaged the meals in 2 hours in an assembly line fashion. Every 1,000 meals packaged, Dimare would ring a gong, fueling the one hundred plus volunteers’ excitement and empowering them to go on. The nutritious meal packages consisted of soy protein, freeze dried vegetables, rice, and vitamins. These meals only require boiling water to be cooked, allowing for them to be easily cooked in areas without kitchen tools. More information about Rise Against Hunger can be found at their website, riseagainsthunger.org.
This event was one of the annual charity events hosted by MOSAIC. In the past, MOSAIC has done other projects such as the “Midnight Run,” in which supplies were delivered to homeless people in New York, and “Family Promise Dinners,” where homeless people were given a place to stay and a meal to eat. More information about Garden State MOSAIC can be found at gardenstatemosaic.org.