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The Daily Tar Heel

To celebrate UNC's birthday, volunteers try to end hunger

The volunteers packaged meals for Stop Hunger Now, a hunger-fighting nonprofit organization.

“We realize that our alumni really wanted to volunteer and serve and give back. That is really the Carolina way,” said Ann-Louise Aguiar, program organizer for the event. “We decided to make it so every year we have a day of service. It seemed natural to tie it into University Day.”

The General Alumni Association chose Stop Hunger Now to work with Tar Heel Service Day.

“Stop Hunger Now has been around for years and the president and CEO of Stop Hunger Now is a UNC alumnus himself so this is a great way because it ties into the University’s two year theme of food for all,” Aguiar said.

Josh Almond, assistant program manager for Stop Hunger Now in Raleigh, said the organization is unique because it allows the community to make a lasting impact on an important issue.

“I’ve lived overseas and I have seen hunger up close in a variety of different ways,” Almond said. “When I came back I just wanted to do something to make a change, make an impact on that myself.”

The organization also has a far reach globally.

“We have partners in 71 different countries around the world,” Almond said. “We give them the meals, they get them into schools and kids get educated and it is a lasting change. We are about a lasting change, not a quick fix.”

Junior Kirsten Adams said her sorority inspired her to serve the community.

“Thousands of people are dying every day because they are hungry and we are very fortunate to live in America, which is a first world country,” Adams said. There are enough resources in the world — it is just unevenly distributed, so it is a very good cause.”

Almond said some people come simply to enjoy themselves while making an impact.

“It’s fun,” he said. “We have the music going, you sweat a little bit, people are singing and dancing. So we try to make it as fun as possible while making as big of an impact as we can.”

Tar Heel Service Day is not only making waves locally — it has become a global initiative to spend one day doing all sorts of service activities.

“People are cleaning up creeks and streams and beaches or parks,” Aguiar said. “They are volunteering in hospitals, they are providing meals to the hungry, they are collecting food for local food banks, they are doing whatever they want to do and are inspired to do to be a part of Tar Heel Service Day.”

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