More than 75 volunteers made nearly 16,000 easily transportable meals during a Feb. 16 Ohio Northern University event for worldwide distribution to those in need. The effort was part of the God Always Provides (GAP) food packaging program sponsored by the International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES), which uses missionaries to provide the meals to combat hunger and malnourishment.
ONU’s GAP effort was organized by pharmacy student Atlee Carr, who was inspired by an IDES representative who visited his church in 2021 and mentioned the GAP program. IDES enthusiastically responded to Carr’s idea of hosting a packing event on campus and provided resources to make it happen.
The meals are made of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and 21 essential vitamins and minerals. Ingredients are combined to create 14-ounce bagged meals. ONU volunteers quickly adopted a rhythm and went to work, Carr says.
“I feel like this event was important for ONU to participate in because it expanded our scope of service from community based into international,” the Hillsboro, Ohio native points out. “I participated because I wanted to start up another food packing event on campus. From my understanding, ONU previously had another project similar to this in 2017, before I was in college. It has been a few years since we’ve done this event, so I wanted to hopefully start up this tradition again.”
Volunteers included members of Kappa Psi, Student Senate, Kappa Epsilon, Phi Delta Chi, Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International, the chaplain’s office, Alpha Phi Omega and the American Pharmacists Association. Student Senate provided $3,000 in funding to make the event possible, Carr notes.