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Growing up in India, Vidya Vijjapurapu witnessed firsthand the impact of food distribution for people facing hunger. She said, “It reached the hands of the poor directly or it was donated in temples where anyone had access to it.” Through her upbringing in India, she had a desire to help others and support people facing food insecurity.  

Vidya first participated in a Rise Against Hunger Experience meal packaging event with her employer in Georgia. Packaging meals with her colleagues, the event resonated with her. She decided she wanted to get involved further. And she wanted others in her life to get involved, too. 

Vidya decided to host her own meal packaging event and invite her friends, family and neighbors to join. Hosting this meal packaging event was important to Vidya. After being inspired after just one meal packaging event, she wanted to bring awareness about the organization to her close connections. And she really rallied her network together — over 90 people registered for the event! “I am overwhelmed by the willingness from so many of my friends to participate,” she said. 

On a Sunday in late March 2022, Vidya and the volunteers gathered to package meals. Everyone, from adults to young children, was able to energetically play a part in the event. Within a few hours, they packaged 10,000 Rise Against Hunger meals for people facing hunger across the globe. 

Seeing her community collaborate to make an impact was very touching for Vidya. “If one other person got inspired like I did, the chain [of impact] expands faster,” she explained. And we couldn’t agree more with her! This is exactly why Growing the Movement is one of Rise Against Hunger’s four Pathways to End Hunger. When more people are aware and involved in serving those facing food insecurity, it makes a big difference. Whether that be through donating, volunteering at a meal packaging event, engaging in a virtual opportunity or just spreading the word online, it all contributes toward ending global hunger. “When it comes to helping, there is no little or big,” Vidya said. “It is all about the intent.”

Vidya’s commitment to both serving others facing hunger and growing the movement by involving her network makes her an inspiring Hunger Champion! And she encourages others to join the movement to end global hunger. “Spread the word by hosting an event or take additional participants along where you are participating. It will be time and money spent well and the heart feels content.”