My First Time Running a Line

Last month, I was able to attend a pack at St. Ursula. This was the first pack that I was left alone to run a line and set up everything with only one other person, Amy, to help me. That fact made me feel nervous, but I was confident after working a few packing events before that I could do it and make everything run smoothly. Which is exactly what happened. The pack went a lot better than any of us thought it would when we noticed how many people showed up to help and the number of girls that were at Saint Ursula to help with the pack. The girls at Saint Ursula moved through the packing very quickly once they were in a groove of how to pack the meals. They were all very talk-a-tive and enjoyed learning about why we pack meals and why we were going to Lesotho and the people that would be supported by the meals they were packing. I was very proud of not only the line I oversaw, but of all the girls involved in the pack that day. They worked hard and if something happened or they had a question they were not afraid to speak up (even if that had to do with the music being played). Overall, it was a very fun pack and we finished early after making 19,000 meals and had enough time to talk with the girls more about Lesotho and LNI in depth and share our reasons for being there at working with the packs and going on the trip. 

Grace Fischer, ‘20 

Pack at Oakwood High School

Starting early to make the 40-minute trip to Oakwood, we arrived and started unpacking the truck into the gym around 8 am. It may have been only 15 degrees outside, but we all started warming up fast and getting fired up for the day. When we began setting up the tables for lines, the students and volunteers started arriving and everyone looked happy and ready to get started. We finished set up with 20 minutes to spare and started the event early at around 9:15 am. We were all pretty nervous and excited when a camera crew showed up and started scanning the room. Everyone got to work and looked good, working hard and packing ahead of time. Our goal was to hit 30,000 meals for the day, and we picked up speed immediately and I knew we would hit the goal.

The music was playing, and everyone was jamming out and having a good time. That’s something I’ve always loved the best about packing events: the pure joy and positive energy of doing a good thing and just enjoying the time with others. Everything went smoothly and everywhere I looked I just saw smiles and lots of packed meals. For a school as dedicated to LNI as its members, Oakwood hosted an incredible pack this and the final number of meals was 30, 240 packed in under two hours! So excited to see what the rest of the semester holds after such a fantastic pack, despite the cold.

-Amy Brennan ‘21

A Letter from Annie Fort at TTL

One of the things I was most excited about when I started my job at Touching Tiny Lives (TTL for short) was to see the Nutri-Plenty meals from LNI arrive at TTL campus. I had seen videos of the big truck pulling up to the gate, TTL staff unloading the meals, literally flinging boxes at one another to finally fill the TTL storeroom from floor to ceiling.

I often got a little emotional thinking about this - I would finally get to see all of the hard work that myself and the rest of the LNI team - hours of planning, packing, loading and unloading the truck - pay off. I followed my email thread almost religiously, checking to see when the meals would arrive and admittedly peeking out of my office window to see if the truck had rolled up to the TTL gate.

But I missed it. I missed the truck. All of the showmanship of unloading the meals. The assembly line getting the boxes to the storeroom. I missed it.

While I was disappointed, the reason I missed the delivery is that I was out in the community, witnessing how TTL staff put Nutri-Plenty meals into action.

We drove just over two hours to reach a small house on the side of a mountain. We stumbled our way down the steep hill to where five kids were running around laughing and playing. The kids lived with their grandmother and uncle, the few remaining family members they had left.

This isn’t a rarity in Lesotho, in many communities it’s the norm. As a result of the HIV/AIDS crisis, parents often are too ill, or in the worst cases, pass away due to infection. Children are left with the next immediate family member, usually a grandparent.

This nkhono, or grandmother, was extremely hospitable and kind. Her eyes lit up when we brought the Nutri-Plenty and a package of other nutritious foods into her home. She thanked us several times on our way out, waving from her house as we drove away.

When you think about it, it’s a rather little thing. All that LNI and TTL do is ensure children get enough quality food to eat.  A box of meals costs $34 but it goes a long way in these households. It provides 216 meals and helps to mitigate the financial burdens of being a single grandparent taking care of multiple children.

TTL serves around 100 children in our safe home and in our outreach program, all of whom benefit from the incredible work LNI does. With the help of LNI, TTL has been able to grow our capacity to reach even the most rural and vulnerable populations.

I kept dreaming about seeing the meals delivered to TTL. But I got to witness something better than seeing our hard work arrive. I got to witness how our work plays out. How that hard work goes into a community. I get to see our hard work at work.

-Annie Fort ‘18

First Pack of the Season!

I had the privilege to have my first official pack with LNI at the Dayton STEM on Wednesday, and it was an incredibly fulfilling and uplifting experience. I had been in the 24-hour Pack-a-Thon last spring, which was my first exposure to LNI, but I had never sat through a pack start to finish. We headed out to Dayton at the crack of dawn which, as a college student, is earlier than I ‘ve had to wake up in a long time. I fell asleep on the twenty-minute drive and was worried I would be too tired to be any use. But the energy and excitement from both LNI and the STEM students when we got there was enough to perk me up and carry me through. The STEM students were incredible; everyone was organized and ready to help in any way they could, and between them and the Wittenberg students we made quick work of set up and tear down.

I was surprised at how simple a pack is. No matter what job you’re doing, it’s easy to learn, and it’s simple and repetitive enough that I got an opportunity to talk with the others in my line and make some new friends. My line was all Wittenberg students, which I appreciated because I got a chance to learn how a pack worked so the next time I do a pack I’ll be able to help others learn.  And I absolutely plan on doing another pack when I can.

We packed until we literally couldn’t anymore. We planned to go until 11am, but we ran out of vitamin packs by 10 and had to stop after hitting our goal and packing around 19,000 meals. It still blows my mind how many meals that really is, and how much work we’re doing. It’s so fulfilling to know that the work I did is going to save someone’s life; I don’t think I’ve ever done anything like that before. And yet still so much work to be done, and it only inspires me to stay involved and do everything that I can to help Lesotho.

-Elena Dumm ‘20

A Letter from Kelsie Arlin

I would like to tell you the story of two brothers we have living here at the Andrew Blais Orphanage Home in Motsekuoa, Mafeteng, Lesotho. They arrived here together two years ago (2016) and are the two youngest boys we currently house. One of them—Danke—is eight years old, and the other—Kananelo—is four. In them we have seen some of the most obvious effects of the Nutri-Plenty meals we receive from the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative. They are both classified as vulnerable children. That means that they are not orphaned but for other reasons they are not allowed to, or are not safe to stay with their families. In their case, they were abandoned by an unfit mother and their father is unknown. As you may know, the first five years of a child’s life are of key importance to both cognitive and physical growth. Danke was six when he arrived here and for those first six years of his life he was not properly cared for and did not receive the nutrients he needed to grow properly. As a result, he has a severe stunting in his physical growth that will more than likely be with him his entire life. Now at eight years old, he is only three inches taller than his younger brother despite being four years older. Kananelo on the other hand who has been receiving LNI meals since he was two, is now one of the tallest, healthiest, and most active four year olds in the entire Motsekuoa community. It is absolutely amazing to see the difference proper nutrition has had in the lives of these two boys, and the way Kananelo has developed without having to face the same stunting problems as his brother.

That is not to say the LNI meals have not had a positive impact on Danke as well. Unfortunately, with so many years of malnutrition it will be extremely unlikely that Danke ever grows the height that he should have. However, the LNI meals have been proven to reverse the side effects of malnutrition on cognitive growth and Danke is now thriving in school and social interaction. Having a home here at Andrew Blais and the incredible amount of LNI meals we receive have not only been life altering for these boys, but lifesaving…and they are only two out of the 50 children that live in our home and are receiving the benefits of the meals.

The impact these meals have had on our children at the orphanage has been so noticeable and positive that two more institutions in the Motsekuoa community have just received their first shipment of LNI meals as well. First, the Motsekuoa Health Centre—here a group of mothers with children under two years old who struggle to provide proper nutrition to their kids will be receiving 18 meals every month to help their young children develop to their full potential. Also, the Center for Disabled Children—similar to our orphanage this center is home to children who need special care and attention based on physical and mental special needs. The community here in Motsekuoa is incredibly thankful for the support of the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative and the impact the meals are having on the physical and cognitive growth of our youth. The entire community here believes that every child deserves a chance. LNI is giving them that chance. Thank you Lesotho Nutrition Initiative for all that you do for Lesotho as a whole, and especially for our Motsekuoa community.

-Kelsie Arlin ‘18

24 Hours, 85,000 Meals, and Some Awesome Volunteers

 

The members of The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative invented the Pack-a-Thon with a reasonable goal in mind. Like any other pack, we prepared the estimated amount of supplies to reach our goal. 50,000 meals in 24 hours seemed like an attainable number in the context of our previous packs, but I don’t think any of us could have predicted the outcome of this event. By 8 o’clock in the morning on Saturday we had reached our goal of 50,000 meals, and we had done it in just 15 hours. We finally ran out of supplies to continue packing at around 4 o’clock, and our final meal count was 85,128 meals.

Maddy O’Malley, our current present, reflected on her time with LNI and on the packing event: "During my sophomore year, LNI was a couple students with a perfectly crazy idea to fight chronic malnutrition and pack meals for a country that meant so much to us, and now we have packed over half a million meals, with an immense amount of support from the school and these students, which makes us so successful, and made our 24 hour packing event so successful."

Maddy said it best: our success at this packing event and at so many others is dependent on the volunteers who help us. Whether it be students, staff, or the people of the community, we could not have reached such an astounding amount of meals without their help. I spent around 16 hours at the pack, and I noticed so many people staying past the end of their shifts, or even leaving and coming back hours later to keep packing. Amy Brennan and Rachael Fink were two of these wonderful volunteers. Both spoke about the Pack-a-Thon and their experiences with the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative:

“I volunteered for the 24-hour Pack-a-thon with some friends and as soon as I arrived, I felt invited and part of a family. I enjoyed it so much that I went back several times and ended up working for about 15 hours. So glad I did because it was definitely worth it and now I've joined the club and found a new family.” Amy Brennan ‘21

“When I decided to participate in the 24-hour packing event, I was genuinely excited. I had rehearsal all day, and even though I was exhausted, I could not stop thinking about and looking forward to packing meals for LNI. I brought several friends with me and we all had a blast. After being a part of all these events, I am truly excited about the opportunities that lie ahead; being a part of something bigger than yourself is life-changing. Small acts that may seem insignificant to others are what are changing the world. LNI has made a lasting impact on the Lesotho community, as well as making one on the community at Wittenberg. Smiling, to me, is the best part about life and to be a part of bringing smiles to other people is both a privilege and an honor.” Rachael Fink ‘20

Because of volunteers like these, our mission becomes more and more possible. As an organization, we are incredibly thankful for the volunteers of Springfield, and for the volunteers at all other packs. It is exciting to see that our mission has impacted these students and so many other volunteers, and we are always ready to add to our LNI family. Although exhausting, this 24-hour Pack was filled with joy and excitement. As Maddy O’Malley put it, “It was the happiest exhaustion I've ever felt.” Next year, LNI will hold a new goal of 100,000 meals at the Pack-a-Thon, and we hope you will join us in this exciting new task.

-Destiny Paulen '21

 

Lesotho and You

For the last few weeks, the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative has been moving at full speed in an effort to reach 500,000 meals. This accomplishment really shows the impact we are making in Lesotho. Although helping the people of Lesotho has always been our main objective, some of our members are beginning to see the impacts we have in our communities.  

The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative hosts packs at different locations in an effort to engage other communities with Lesotho. Often times, these packs are held at schools where there are people and spaces for us to assemble our meals. There is something very special that working with other community members brings to the LNI packs. Seniors Annie Fort and Caitlin Cahoon spoke about their experiences at the recent packs:

“At the last pack, this 4-year-old kid came up to me and wanted to help me seal the bags. He would slam the lever down and always remind me to ‘watch your fingers!’ He was so sweet and a ton of help and it was so exciting to see someone that young excited about service!” Annie Fort ‘18

“I had such a good experience at Alter. This was our second time packing with them and both years they have been enthusiastic and genuinely happy to be part of it. I got to work alongside a group of girls that were asking all about Lesotho, why we do what we do, and what else they can do to get involved. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had at a packing event and it made me excited to know that we are reaching other people beyond Wittenberg and Springfield.” Caitlin Cahoon ‘18

Both members were able to experience one very important part of LNI, our impact on the communities around us. It is truly astounding to know that we have spread our love for Lesotho to so many different people. The fact that we have been able to show even a four-year-old the importance of our work for Lesotho is incredible. And in the end, these people are actually helping us achieve our goals. Without the help of the students, kids, or adults that attend these packs, we would not be the organization we are today. The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative is immensely grateful to all those who have helped us because they make our goals possible.

-Destiny Paulen ‘21

 

The King is Coming

In the weeks preceding our Spring packs, the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative is reminded of its impact in Lesotho. Wittenberg University’s Class of 2018 has selected King Letsie III to be the commencement speaker this spring. King Letsie III is the constitutional monarch of Lesotho, a small, landlocked country in southern Africa. During a recent trip to Lesotho, Dr. Rosenberg and Wittenberg  had the opportunity to meet King Letsie III. Kelsey Fobean, Class of 2018, spoke about meeting the King: “The really cool part about it was that the King really liked our initiative because nutrition and health are something he has cared about personally and politically throughout his life.” The King has prompted worldwide attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in southern Africa and was named as African Nutrition Champion by the African Union in 2014. As a whole, Wittenberg University is incredibly excited to have King Letsie III, but his visit is especially important to the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative.

Since the beginning of the Spring semester, our organization has been hard at work preparing for upcoming packs. Students have spent hours creating fundraisers, ordering supplies, and planning the many packs to come. Although the organization is working hard to put all this together, the weeks without packs can feel distant from Lesotho. In hearing the news of the King’s visit, we are reminded of that connection. A constitutional monarch has decided that our organization, just a group of students and their professor, is important enough to fly hundreds of miles to visit. His acceptance of this invitation demonstrates our impact on Lesotho. It reminds us that what we are doing for the families of Lesotho is really special. In the busy semester ahead, the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative will keep the King’s visit in mind to fuel our action. We are enthusiastic about the semester ahead, and we hope you will join us in our mission to combat hunger and malnutrition in Lesotho.

-Destiny Paulen

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My First Pack With LNI

On Saturday, November 4th, I had the opportunity to participate in a meal packing event with LNI. As a new member of the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative, I had only recently learned of the huge impact the organization has on the families in Lesotho, so I was excited to become a part of that impact. One thing I did not anticipate, however, was the way my participation would affect me. As a member of the service club in my high school, I engaged in a number of events to help my community, but not one of them has made me feel the way I felt on Saturday. As I was standing there adding vitamin packets to bags, I got to tell the other students what I had learned about our meals. I told them that every bag we packed gave a family in Lesotho 6 meals, and that the families actually enjoy the meals we send them. In no time at all, Dr. Rosenberg was yelling “We’ve packed 5,000 meals!” In only half an hour we had made 5,000 meals for families in Lesotho. That is something truly amazing to me, and I hope it was just as amazing to the other people participating in the LNI event. I felt something very real when I was packing those meals. Looking around at this group of about 100 people, I realized that I had become a part of something very special. I was making meals with my own two hands, and I felt my impact on the kids in Lesotho. I felt important. I finally felt like I had done something truly good. I had made something that will change the life of a person 8,600 miles away. Until you are actually standing there, making meals, you can’t feel the profound impact LNI is making. Participating in the packing event allowed me to feel a real connection to Lesotho, and I could not be more grateful for that feeling. I am also incredibly grateful to have gotten involved in the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative as a freshman at Wittenberg. This means I get to spend the next four years participating in LNI, packing meals, and actually contributing to the families in Lesotho. I have always dreamt of becoming a part of an organization like Doctors without Borders because I want to have a real impact on the world. Now I have found the perfect organization to help me start making my impact. My heart was full of pride at the packing event on Saturday, and I really began to feel a connection with Lesotho. The families in Lesotho have found their way into my heart, and I hope one day I can go to Lesotho and find my way into theirs.

- Destiny Paulen

Meeting the King

Over the course of the last few years, The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative has been consistently developing and improving. We are partnering with churches, schools, and other organizations in the central Ohio region, and we are increasing our presence on our college campus. Wittenberg students have the opportunity to go to Lesotho each year and see the impact we are making by communicating with the Basotho and watching the meals being enjoyed by each child.

This summer, however, we got a gift we never could have asked for: we got to meet the King of Lesotho, Letsie III, and discuss the projects we've been working on with The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative. We had the chance to go to the Royal Palace in Maseru, where Dr. Rosenberg was able to tell His Majesty what this project is working toward and how much it means to us.

It was an incredibly humbling, unique experience to share something so close to our hearts with one of the highest figures in Lesotho government. After Dr. Rosenberg explained the details of our work, The King seemed genuinely thankful for the projects we've done. Recognized as a Champion for Nutrition in Africa, His Majesty understands the need for combating malnutrition and this was clear throughout the meeting. We stressed that not only are we regularly packing the meals in Ohio and shipping them every few months, but we are maintaining other projects in Lesotho through yearly trips.

Before leaving, The King challenged us to continue talking about our experiences in Lesotho, encourage involvement in LNI, and remember the importance of this work. That is exactly what we plan to do.

- Caitlin Cahoon

Lerato means Love

Going into our last day in Ramabanta, the village we all grew to love and become so close with, I felt so many emotions and thoughts flowing through mind and heart. I knew today we would open the playground to all of our friends later, most importantly cook the meals for the kids that we packed throughout the year in Ohio.

Overall this day was one of the most emotional days I had in Lesotho. Lerato, the woman who owns the trading post also created this food pantry for the children where a good amount of meals have been sent to. She is like a mother to all these children and being there side by side cooking the meals with her, is an event I will cherish for a lifetime. It’s different from just packing meals in the States and actually coming to Lesotho and seeing all of the friends we made have a fulfilling meal. I was overwhelmed with happiness in how I was able to be a small part of the whole process, from raising money for LNI to packing the meals to now, actually cooking them and putting a face with where these meals are going. Now that I have been in Lesotho, I look forward to going to the packing events because now I know that all the friends I made are going to become healthy and able to play on the playground that we built for them.

     While scooping out the warm meals and handing them to the children I had to take a step back and take in what was happening and the impact we all were making at that moment. Not only were we helping these children, we were creating hope and joy to the families of these children. Most importantly, leaving the village with the kids full of many memories and hope for the future. In Basotho, “Lerato” means love and that is exactly what Lerato is doing for all the children. She is loving them, supporting them emotionally, and providing them with well needed nutrition.

While in Ramabanta, a Basotho women also named me “Lerato” and I will keep loving this amazing country and continue to keep advocating for my friends in Ramabanta and all of Lesotho.

-Elsa Bertsch

Since hunger doesn’t sleep….

Finals are finally beginning to creep up here at Wittenberg University, home of the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative and many students are ready for a break. Forget the break, we are ready for the end.

But since hunger does not sleep, neither does Lesotho Nutrition Initiative. We are just starting to heat up these days.

Following the St. David’s packing event, a plan began to quickly be set into motion. Unfortunately, this semester’s Wittenberg packing event was declared a no-go when the budget seemed too costly. Before we knew it though, we had another plan of events.

The LNI Gala took place on April 8, 2017 and our goal was to make 1200 dollars. This dollar amount would have helped us finish paying off our debt and begin to make a dent in the hefty shipping fees to make sure our hard work in packing meals would not go to waste sitting in a warehouse. When all was said and done, the gala did more than we could have hoped. We raised over 2000 dollars!

For the first time ever, Lesotho Nutrition Initiative has some money in the bank! Soon though, we’ll put that money in Basotho mouths as delicious Nutri-Plenty meals.

But wait, there’s more! Of course, we have been working hard on our assignments and studying for our exams, but each day a Basotho child withstands the test of an empty belly. So we are carrying on too!

On Tuesday, March 18, 2017 we will be holding a 15 percent night at Bada Bing Pizza in Springfield, Ohio. Fifteen percent of all proceeds from 5 -9 p.m. will be donated to LNI and contributed directly to getting those already packed meals on their way to Lesotho.

Last but certainly not least are our final packing events to finish out a year. On April 29th we’ll head over to Stebbins High School where students and faculty have committed to our cause. Then, in the middle of finals week muck, we will make our way to St. Ursula’s for one final go for the spring semester before the Wittenberg students hop on that plane to Lesotho themselves!

As always, more to come, but we must thank all who contributed to the LNI Gala and to those who have donated in the past few weeks. We are after all, students and an advisor running a true non-profit organization and we know we could not have hoped to do any of this without YOU!

Until Next Time:

Francesca Janes

A Reflection by Keylahn Hodo

The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative packing events have changed my view on the importance of nutrition for the human body. Going into my first event I knew a lot about Lesotho already, seeing how this was my major and I had taken a couple classes on it. However, I did not know that this many children were going without food or enough food until recently. That’s what drove me to start going to the packing events and helping in any way I could. The events have been great for getting to know my fellow students who feel just as passionately about this, if not more, than I do about this cause. I’ve always been someone who thought that I should do something to give back in one way or another. I always thought I would do something within America, which I may still, but these events have made me realize that the world is so much bigger than just me or what goes on where I call home. There is no reason why young children should not be able to reach their full potential because of their nutrition. They are going through something that I could not even imagine. Once you become an adult you realize that the progress of the world is about the future (children) and these kids deserve to be able to at least have a well-balanced nutritious meal, so that they have at least one less struggle to worry about in their everyday lives.

-Keylahn Hodo

Packing Meals in Front of God and Everyone

On Thursday, March 2nd, LNI took on a packing event at Alter High School, a Catholic school in Kettering, Ohio.

First of all, we packed over 30,000 meals at Alter High School. We absolutely COULD NOT have done it without them!

Two weeks earlier we went to talk to the students, to fire them up for what was to come. The interested students asked questions and tried to sort out exactly what they were contributing to.

At the beginning of the event, Dr. Scott Rosenberg reiterated our mission to feed 1,500 children under the age of 5 for three years in order to boost cognitive development as well as strength in HIV positive children.

Alter’s Key Club was in charge of gathering man power. While numbers started off slow, they grew by the minute. The event gathered students, teachers, and some volunteers from the Kiwanis Club together for the cause.

At the school, during the presentations and the pack itself, the students and staff were proud to show off their united front and commitment to family, friends, and religion as well as helping the world around them.

President of LNI, Jhena Kowaleski celebrated her birthday the day of the pack and the united group agreed to a hearty song of “Happy Birthday” to aid in the celebration.

I often make these events sound like fun and games, and they are of course fun, but there are working moments too. The gratifying experience is not only that of watching students pour some rice and soy into baggies; it is touching each bag of rice as it is lifted off the truck and knowing that each 50 pound bag is literally saving lives. It’s knowing that each meal you help pack, is six kids you get to feed.

At the end of the event, the sore muscles are worth it, and they are always accompanied by a gratifying story to tell!

A happy and well deserved Spring Break to all of the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative members!

 

Until next week,

Francesca Janes

My First Pack

A big room filled with tables of grain and freeze dried veggies. That’s what I saw when I first stepped through the doors of the “Bear Cave” at Ohio Northern University. I could only wonder what I would be up to at my first packing event with The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative.

I know this is new to you, it’s new to me too, so we’ll learn together.

If you’re here it’s safe to assume you know where Lesotho is, but in case you don’t, it’s right here:

Map courtesy of BBC News

Map courtesy of BBC News

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure our little blip of love is ever really labeled on maps. But now you know. This is Lesotho, and it’s why we do what we do.

Back to Ohio Northern though. Like I said, this was my first packing event. I had no idea that not only would students show up, but faculty and their families, sports teams, and Greek life alike would stand side by side to support this tiny country and their own community.

On Saturday, January 28, 2017 the first packing event held by The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative began at 1 o’clock in the afternoon in the “Bear Cave” at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.

The goal on this day was to pack 20,000 meals. Seventy-five percent of the meals were to be Africa bound and the other 25% would be sent to a local food bank.

“Boss-Man says we have 9,000 on the truck,” one volunteer told me. That’s right, about half-way through the event, the group of determined students and faculty had already packed 9,000 meals. I was stunned. I knew our goals, I had heard them over and over again, but the height of the numbers always shocked me anyway.

I joined a line doing the job I felt least likely to mess up, flattening the bags to make sure they fit in the box. There were two layers of three rows of six. That’s 36 bags in each box. This was a science.

“It’s humbling,” said Kara Horvath, a student at Ohio Northern. Horvath helped to organize a campus wide fast where around 50 students fasted and approximately 15 of them packed meals during the event. When asked what it was like to pack food for others when she herself hadn’t eaten in almost two days, Horvath said only this, “Some people don’t know when their next meal is coming, I’m done fasting at 6.”

When finally, the event came to a close, the total meals packed was 20,200 meals packed and about 14,500 of them were going to head to Lesotho to aid the people there who expect the second draught in a row this year.

Written by Francesca Janes