On Monday, August 17, Secretary Vilsack joined Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for a Rural Tour event in Hamlet, North Carolina. While they were there, the Secretaries had the opportunity to participate in a meal packaging service project at Richmond Community College to promote President Obama’s United We Serve summer volunteerism initiative. The event was coordinated by Stop Hunger Now, a Raleigh-based non-profit organization that has hosted similar events at area colleges, including North Carolina State, the University of North Carolina, NC Central and others.
Stop Hunger Now's meal packaging program is a volunteer-based effort through which participants package high protein, dehydrated meals for use in crisis situations, and which also provide a highly nutritious meal to support school feeding programs in schools and orphanages around the world. They have provided 13 million meals to more than 70 countries worldwide to date. For this event, the meal packages were assembled to benefit a group based in Winston-Salem, NC
Secretary Vilsack highlighted the fact that USDA works to feed hungry people in places like Hamlet, North Carolina through programs such as the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, as well as through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which helps support food banks all over the country. USDA also helps to feed hungry children around the world through the Foreign Agricultural Service.
The Secretaries also emphasized President Obama’s call to engage in service to help people in need. Through this event, young people from rural North Carolina had a chance to learn about global hunger and make a difference in the lives of needy children overseas.