The Collegian
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Annual Stop Hunger Now event to happen Saturday

Stop Hunger Now - an annual event when volunteers package meals to be sent to New Hope Children's Home in Orissa, India - will take place at 1 p.m. this Saturday in the Alice Haynes Room. Before the meals are packaged, representatives from the local office of Stop Hunger Now will give a 15-minute slideshow presentation with images of New Hope Children's Home and statistics about hunger locally, nationally and worldwide.

The two New Hope Children's Homes in India -- one in Kerala and one in Orissa -- are orphanages for displaced children, according to the organization's website. Both homes were founded by Abraham Varghese, who runs them through his missionary organization, Gospel for India. Varghese opened the orphanage in Orissa in 2008, housing 65 children whose parents had been persecuted by radicals for practicing Christianity, according to the New Hope website.

The first Stop Hunger Now event at the University of Richmond was held last year, during which $5,000 was raised and 20,000 meals were packed in less than three hours by 101 volunteers representing 10 campus organizations, said Adrienne Piazza, coordinator of student development and educational programming at the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. This year, approximately $3,500 has been raised and participants have set a goal to package at least 13,000 meals, Piazza said. One hundred volunteers have already registered from campus clubs and organizations including West Indian Lynk, Bonner Scholars, South Asian Student Alliance and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Piazza said.

Sophomore Francis K. Poitier, who is president of West Indian Lynk, the organization with the most members signed up to take part in the event, thinks it will be impactful not only for the orphans, but for Richmond students as well.

"I think people often forget about the privileges we have living on campus," Poitier said. "Every day thousands are going hungry, living below the poverty line, and aren't privileged with the opportunities to succeed. ...It's imperative that the spotlight is shined on these places that still need our support."

Contact staff writer Abby Kloppenburg at abby.kloppenburg@richmond.edu

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