Courtesy of Amherst Sports Information
AMHERST, Mass. - The Amherst LEADS First Year Initiative group capped off the semester with a food packaging event as a part of its annual “Caring Deeply” initiative. Caring Deeply is a staple event for the First Years intended to emphasize the importance of social responsibility and servant leadership; to serve first. The event marked LEADS fourth collaboration with Rise Against Hunger, a nonprofit organization which distributes food and other life-saving aid to vulnerable children and families around the world.
The night kicked off with an introduction to the Rise Against Hunger organization and its mission. Mark Vermouth from Rise Against Hunger explained to the student-athletes what their role is in their mission and explained the process of meal packaging. First Years then took to their posts in an assembly line packaging highly nutritious, dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables and 23 essential vitamins and minerals. The goal of the evening was to pack 10,000 meals and the group was able to accomplish that goal in about an hour. The meal packaging initiative was created to give dedicated individuals and organizations the opportunity to participate in a hands-on international hunger relief program and to become educated, engaged advocates for the worlds hungry.
Throughout the year for the First-Year Initiative program, LEADS worked to integrate the group into the Amherst College community with the intent to provide a foundation of leadership skills and knowledge that will hopefully provide the groundwork for first-year students to move forward in development and growth for the remainder of their time at Amherst. Leading up to the meal packaging event, the goal was to introduce the culture of Amherst to first-year students and provide them with methods to indentify who they are, the role they will play on their teams, how they can positively contribute as student-athletes.
Working with Rise Against Hunger is a high-energy, impactful event at which time the first years can realize the importance of giving back and first thinking of others before themselves. All first-year students will have the opportunity to move onto the Futures program which is a two-year program including all sophomores and juniors.