By Brian Abate
For The Diamondback
More than 125 University of Maryland students volunteered Tuesday night to pack meals for the Feed the Families of Metro D.C. Service Project.
Terps Against Hunger, a student group focused on organizing food-packing events, partnered with various campus religious groups, including the Muslim Students' Association and the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, to donate 15,000 food packages containing four main food groups, said senior Rishabh Chatterjee, Terps Against Hunger president.
The meals are made up of rice, soy vegetables and vitamins, all of which are necessities in a nutritious meal, said Chatterjee, an economics and supply chain management major. The packaged goods will then be delivered to various organizations, he added, including the Capital Area Food Bank.
"Seeing people put aside their differences and come together makes this one of my favorite events," Chatterjee said. "This has become a great annual event. … We also want to expand and try to fight hunger at an international level."
Rev. Brett Pinder, one of the event's organizers, said he was happy with the event's turnout, adding it was the largest group he has seen in his three years participating in the event.
Junior Savannah Williams, a government and politics and journalism major, said she enjoyed seeing everyone rally "for a good cause."
"This event was a great opportunity to help those in need," said Williams, a Baptist Collegiate Ministries member. "It's nice to see people in a good mood and coming together."
Other students agreed. Sophomore bioengineering major Yahya Cheema said events like this are an important chance to do something positive.
"Everyone is blessed in different ways, and the more blessed you are, the more responsible you are to make a change," said Cheema, a Muslim Students' Association member.
Terps Against Hunger has packed more than 1.3 million meals since their first event in 2013, including nearly 200,000 in 2017, according to their website. Some students, such as freshman Danny Cho, a finance and marketing major, wanted to get involved with Terps Against Hunger after learning more about the organization.
"I had some free time and knew this was for a good cause," Cho said. "This was a way of maximizing my time and doing something positive."
Freshman Semira Said, a nutritional sciences major, got involved for more personal reasons.
"As a freshman, this was a really good opportunity for me to go out and get involved," she said. "I live in the D.C. metro area, so I've seen people that are struggling firsthand."