BY COLE BRUNI
On Thursday, March. 15, Sacred Heart University held its first Hunger Project in the University Commons.
The project was organized by Student Government and was held in conjunction with Meals of Hope, a local non-profit that is helping to provide meals to members of the community.
The event was staffed by Student Government members and student volunteers from varying organizations. Also at the event, the students sold t-shirts, with proceeds going towards their goal of fundraising $6,250 for meals.
“This is the first ever Hunger Project held on campus and was in partnership with the non-profit group, Meals of Hope,” said senior and Student Government class president Samantha Pignatelli.
In the five hours the Hunger Project ran, more than 500 people signed up as volunteers. They were able to prepare and pack over 50,000 meals in that time, all of which went to local food pantries and soup kitchens.
According to the organization End Hunger Connecticut, 23.6% of Bridgeport’s population lives below the poverty line.
“It’s sad that we can live in the richest country in the world but can’t even feed our entire population,” said Junior Kate Sweeney.
The organization Meals of Hope is trying to do its part to help out across the country. “It’s an amazing organization,” said sophomore Anthony Smith. “It really feels good to help the community, and give back to those who need it most.”
According to the Meals of Hope website, their mission is described as “Communities coming together to end hunger.” The organization, based out of Naples, Fla., has over 15,000 volunteers contributing coast to coast. The majority of food is donated to the Feeding America Food Bank Network.
“Alongside Cory Robinson and Taryn McCormick, I had the privilege of planning the entire Hunger Project event,” said Pignatelli. “Serving as the SG President for the Class of 2018, I was happy to be involved in a project that emulates what it means to be a Pioneer here at SHU.
“Seeing over 500 volunteers come together yesterday to make 50,688 meals was an overwhelming and humbling experience,” she said. “To know that we as a community came together to lend a hand in helping to end hunger within Fairfield county is remarkable.”