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To stop child hunger, some assembly required

September 24, 2018

Nearly a quarter of children in Harris County regularly go hungry. For many, lunch at school is their only meal of the day. That’s a mighty big problem, one that can’t be fixed overnight.

Now there’s a challenge to make as big a dent as possible in just two hours.

From 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 6, one local MOD Pizza outlet, T.H. Rogers School and national nonprofit Generosity Feeds are mobilizing hundreds of people of all ages to assemble and package 10,000 — if not 20,000 — nutritious meals for hungry children in our community. The event takes place 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at T.H. Rogers School, 5840 San Felipe. Refreshments, including coffee and kolaches, will be available for volunteers.

“All of these meals will … be distributed within Harris County,” says Sonja Gillette of T.H. Rogers School’s parent-teacher organization. Most of the meals will reach children via the United Way, some via a food pantry.

Volunteers on an assembly line will package the ingredients. The packages consist of black beans, rice, veggies, beef bouillon and seasonings that are heat-sealed at the event. Then a family in need just adds hot water for an instant, healthful hot soup.

The goal is 10,000 meals; each meal costs $1 to make. But Mark Foley, who manages the MOD Pizza West Galleria, says he’s raised almost $14,000, so he’s hoping to pull in more to double that goal to 20,000 meals.

“It’s really a family-friendly opportunity to show kids how to give back to the community,” says Foley, who has partnered on half a dozen such meal-assembly events that draw individuals, whole families and area businesses to take part. “Hopefully, we can make a dent in food insecurity in Houston.”

To register to volunteer or to donate, visit modpizzathrogers.org.

suzanne.garofalo@chron.com

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