WILMINGTON, N.C. – Like founder and UNC Wilmington alumnus Ray Buchanan of Stop Hunger Now, UNCW’s student-athletes did their part to stymie hunger in the world when attempted assemble 100,000 meals recently for distribution by the international relief organization.

The project, coordinated by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and sponsored by Liberty Tax Service, was part of Stop Hunger Now’s 2008 campaign to put together 5.5 million meals to feed the world’s hungry. UNCW’s student-athletes and other volunteers from the community gathered in Hanover Hall in the early hours last Saturday to begin preparations for the massive undertaking.

Volunteers worked in three shifts, 9 a.m. to Noon, Noon to 3 p.m. and 3-6 p.m., to package the bagged meals and prepare them for shipping.

In an assembly line fashion, individuals packaged individual meals that were shipped to Liberia. The meals included rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a vitamin-fortified flavoring mix with 21 essential vitamins and minerals. Each meal costs 20 cents to make and corporate and individual sponsors donated funds to make the event possible.

“We’re very proud of our student-athletes for their participation in this project,” said Kelly Mehrtens, UNCW’s athletic director. “They continue to exhibit outstanding leadership and citizenship qualities by taking an active role in community service events such as this.”

Established in 1998 by Buchanan, Stop Hunger Now is headquartered in Raleigh, but coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. It is driven by a vision to end world hunger and a mission to provide food and other aid to the world’s most destitute in a sustainable, efficient and effective manner.

Stop Hunger Now has provided more than $44 million in aid to citizens in 60 countries during its 10 years of existence.