Tuesday, April 3rd, marked the final First-Year Initiative event of the 2017-18 academic year. Rise Against Hunger, an organization whose mission is to end world hunger, returned to campus for the annual Caring Deeply event. Student-athletes had the opportunity to work together with students from different teams as they assembled meals for those in need. Each student had a particular role – from scooping rice to sealing complete meals, everyone contributed to the meal-packing process. By the end of the night, the students operated as a well-oiled machine, and ultimately assembled 7,128 meals. The event provided a great bonding experience for the student-athletes and allowed them to take a fun yet meaningful break from their studies.
The meals consisted of rice, soy protein, dried vegetables, and a mineral packet. The taste of the meals was described to us as “like ramen, but with less flavor.” This was on purpose; many of the people who receive the meals have low and inconsistent access to food, and so they cannot handle rich or spicy foods. The event in part served as a reminder to have gratitude for the things we consider constants in our lives. At Amherst, we have reliable access to food, shelter, and clean water. Many people around the world do not have these sorts of resources. The event was also a reminder of the importance of giving back and doing something larger than yourself. Although it is uncertain where exactly the 7,128 meals will go, it is clear that the efforts of our student-athletes will have an immediate impact on those who receive the meals.