Measuring meals to be packaged pictured from left are Warren Drewry, Cameron Slate, Landa Young.

Approximately 60 volunteers gathered at the Meherrin Ruritan Club to package more than 12,000 meals to battle hunger throughout the world.

Representatives from the Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville, Purdy Boy Scout Troop 232, Girl Scouts, GCHS Interact Club, Brunswick Academy, several churches, and Southside Virginia Community College students volunteered.

“We just worked at one recently at SVCC,” Katelynn Thomas said. “We had a lot of fun doing it, so a group of us SVCC students decided to come to Emporia and help out.”

The meals are soybeans, a portion powder, mixed dried vegetables, and rice.

The assembly line-like production of meal packing took about two hours before getting packed onto a truck. Rise Against Hunger’s McKenzie Grimes brought the food and boxes from Richmond and described what will happen with the meals.

“They are shipped to a developing country,” she said. “We don’t know exactly what country until we make the shipment. We should know in one to three months.”

The Meherrin Ruritan Club has sponsored the meal-packing event for eight years. Ruritan Club member Bobby Wrenn believes the 12,000-plus meals packed is the most the volunteers have done.

I’m well pleased with what we accomplished today,” Wrenn said. “We packed 12,096 meals in about two hours. It’s so much fun. It’s a great event, and the Ruritan Club is proud to be the sponsor.”

The Rise Against Hunger Program was established in 1998 under founder Ray Buchanan, a United Methodist minister. Rise Against Hunger packing events have spread throughout the nation, including Emporia-Greensville.

The club raised $3,070 to host the Rise Against Hunger event. The meals are packed, and the wait begins to find out where this year’s packages will land.

Last year’s Rise Against Hunger packages from Emporia were distributed in the Dominican Republic in February.