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

For the past 10 years, the Meherrin Ruritan Club and volunteers packaged thousand of meals in November to feed those in need. Due to the pandemic, this year’s Rise Against Hunger event is canceled.

“I regret that it’s necessary to cancel the Rise Against Hunger packing event,” local Rise Against Hunger facilitator Bobby Wrenn said. “The COVID-19 created so many problems that we’re not going to have it this year, but hope to have it next year.”

Founded in 1998, Rise Against Hunger is an international organization providing hunger relief in developing nations worldwide. Rise Against Hunger events are held throughout the country.

The packaged meals consist of soybeans, a portion powder, mixed dried vegetables, and rice.

Last year volunteers packaged more than 12,000 meals at the Meherrin Ruritan Club. The assembly line had volunteers measuring the contents. Another group was packaging the meals and runners gathered the packaged products and got them ready for a truck.

The event took approximately two hours, with 60 volunteers representing the Meherrin Ruritan Club, Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville, Purdy Boy Scout Troop 232, several churches, Brunswick Academy, and Southside Virginia Community College students. Wrenn always finds the volunteers needed to complete the job of packaging the meals.

“I would like to thank all who have helped financially and physically in the past,” Wrenn said.

The pandemic is forcing the cancelation of packing events not only in Emporia but throughout Southside Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina, including the popular Rise Against Hunger packing event at Lake Gaston. Wrenn said help is still needed.

“Rise Against Hunger is still operating on a small scale and desperately needs financial support,” he said. “If you would like to donate, send your contribution to Rise Against Hunger, 304 Church St., Emporia, VA 23847.

This year’s packaging event at the Meherrin Ruritan Club is canceled, but the need to Rise Against Hunger remains.