Students and workers from several schools and businesses assembled at John Burroughs School to assemble food packages for people in need in the country of Tanzania and St. Louis city today, as part of an event held by nonprofit St. Louis World Food Day.
The event was held in honor of World Food Day, which was created by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. The cause is being led by Don Soffer, a high school senior at John Burroughs. The 17-year-old is trying to both alleviate hunger and change how others think about it.
“It’s that fact that keeps ringing in my head which is every six seconds a child dies from malnutrition, and if it’s something I can do in my spare time or during my regular day I’m happy to do it," he says. "I think everyone should have some role in helping to alleviate hunger.”
Rice and soy protein meals are being sent to Tanzania, and assembled meals of macaroni and cheese are being designated for St. Louis. This is the fourth year that World Food Day has been commemorated in St. Louis.
Event coordinator Mary Beth Soffer says that uniting for one cause allows participants to set their differences aside. "I think when you put a hair net on, it breaks down a whole lot of business," she says.
"We're only a one-day event thing. There is a lot of need in the St. Louis community. If this event resonates with people and they step out and do something else, it's awesome."
Representatives from the St. Louis Blues and Goodwill ambassador to Tanzania, Doug Pitt, were also in attendance. Friday's goal is to have 300,000 meals packaged at the end of the day.
Follow Erin Williams on Twitter: @STLPR_Erin