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Senior Hannah Fleming and freshman Celina McGowan help to pack more than 22,000 meals on Sat­urday in the biermann Ath­letics Center to feed all of the children attending a school in Haiti. Nicole Ault | Col­legian

Forty-five minutes before the noon finish time, someone hit a gong with a cry: “20,000 meals!”

Approx­i­mately 130 stu­dents, capped with plastic hair nets and busy assem­bling meals in the Biermann Ath­letics Center on Sat­urday, cheered. In just two hours, they had reached their goal and then some: pack­aging 22,032 meals, more than enough to feed 80 children in Haiti for an entire school year.

Hillsdale College’s GOAL Program and Numana Inc., a non­profit orga­ni­zation ded­i­cated to pack­aging meals for people around the world, held the event. Numana sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives and sup­plies to the college, and Hillsdale raised the money and gathered the vol­un­teers.

Senior Jessie Fox and junior Zack Schultz ini­tiated the campus-wide project, after vis­iting Haiti in January.

“For Hillsdale to be able to come together and — just in our student body — raise enough money and bring together all these people here to change kids’ lives and package all these meals is an incredible oppor­tunity,” Schultz said.

GOAL had to raise $6,000 to pay for the meals, which con­sists of rice, pinto beans, soy protein, and a vitamin pack. Each meal costs 30 cents. The final $200 to cover the remainder of the meals was donated during the event.

“It’s one of the smoothest events I’ve worked,” said Morgan Bolander, a Numana event leader, adding she was happy with how things were going even though only about 130 stu­dents showed up, slightly less than the 170 expected.

Numana will deliver the meals to school children in Haiti through Mission of Hope Inter­na­tional, a Christian charity that min­isters, edu­cates, feeds, pro­vides medical care for, and grows food for people in Haiti, Bolander said.

Senior Alexis Garcia, the GOAL program director, said this project was one of few campus-wide events GOAL has ever held and it was the most suc­cessful.

“It’s a good way to get all of campus working for a greater cause,” she said.

Schultz said he hopes events like this will con­tinue in the future and perhaps even get stu­dents involved on the ground in Haiti, as well.

“I see this as a beginning point,” he said. “Hope­fully, this is an annual thing. We’re just grateful to God that he pro­vided every­thing for this event.”