Over the past two years, Rise Against Hunger has taken me to all the corners of the globe. My role and the role of our International Community Engagement Team is to take the well-oiled machine that is the Rise Against Hunger meal packaging event, box it up, and take it around the world. Air freight regulations, customs brokerage and international border crossings bring whole new meaning to the words “mobile meal packaging.” And just like any well-oiled machine, international meal packaging requires many moving parts behind the scenes and a dedicated team of players from all across the organization to make it happen.
As an impact-driven organization, it only makes sense that the first stop for an international meal packing event is with our Global Impact Team, and the first question that needs answering is always, “Where in the world do you want to package meals?” Before an idea becomes an event, the Global Impact Team works to ensure there is a meal distribution plan in place for the location in question that supports Rise Against Hunger’s Pathways to End Hunger: Nourishing Lives, Empowering Communities and Responding to Emergencies.
Once a strategic impact plan has been confirmed, it’s on to the next stop with our Global Logistics team. These fine folks spend their time making moves — they are the mover and shakers! This team moves equipment in and out of countries, arranges vendor deliveries of the raw materials that make up our meals — rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a micronutrient sachet — and determines how to transport the finished meals from the hands of the volunteers to the hands of the beneficiaries.
Then there’s my team. Once we know we can get our materials into the country and the finished meals out, we move the work from behind the scenes to center stage. Depending on the location of the international meal packaging event, our team will spend the next 1-2 months working directly with the event host and our Rise Against Hunger staff to make sure goals are met and success is achieved. Success in this case takes the form of packaged meals, a growing global commitment to end hunger and nourishing the lives of people worldwide thanks to the work of many hands from around the globe!
If you are interested in packing meals outside the U.S. or outside the zone of one of our international locations (India, Italy, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Africa), please fill out the form on our Host a Meal Packaging Event page to receive more information about international meal packing opportunities.