By Deacon Gary DiLallo, Contributing writer

Rise up and volunteer was the challenge, and they sure did at Church of the Holy Family in Endwell last month when volunteers packaged more than 20,000 meals.

Rise Against Hunger is an international nonprofit hunger-relief organization that coordinates the packaging and distribution of food to people in need. 

Almost half of all childhood deaths worldwide occur in children with malnutrition. We need to build a sustainable world where everyone, everywhere has regular access to enough nutritious food,” said Rise Area Manager Robert Whitaker from New Jersey. Meals go to schools and hospitals to include areas hard hit by recent weather disasters.

Hope Hannon, chair of the Holy Family Human Development Committee, brought the event together and was delighted to see so many volunteers from all over the area. She said, “It’s about helping those who are in need.”

More than 200 volunteers including youth from area churches and Seton Catholic Central High School as well as adults from local Catholic and non-Catholic churches.

Martino Shattuck, a freshman at Maine-Endwell High, said he was “impressed how everyone pitched in to help out. It was a great community event.”

Sally Herceg from St. Ambrose, St. Joseph’s and St. Anthony, who brought 20 volunteers, said, “It’s all about ‘Food, Faith, Fun.’”

Geralyn Lupo from Church of the Holy Family remarked that it was her “second time at this well-organized event and it feels great to support it for people who need food.”

Four assembly-line tables of workers and runners made the effort look easy as they worked together. Meals of rice, soy flour, dehydrated vegetables and vitamins were packed in quart-size bags put together, sealed, weighed, packaged and boxed for shipping.

It was truly a well-organized event that left a positive impression on the many volunteers who participated.

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