Marymount Community Packages 10,000 Meals for Impoverished African Nation

Seventy Marymount University students and staff members packaged 10,000 meals to be sent to the impoverished West African nation of Burkina Faso on Nov. 18. The event, called Helping Hands, was a collaboration between Catholic Relief Services of the Arlington Diocese and the organization Stop Hunger Now.

Nickie Sene of Catholic Relief Services shared her firsthand experiences of working in the landlocked nation that is considered the third poorest in the world.

“Her presentation was particularly inspiring for our students,” said Meg Dalmut, Marymount’s associate director of community engagement. “There was a buzz around campus that day about having a sense of gratitude for what we have here and an obligation to give what’s needed to those who don’t have much.”

The event was held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Rose Bente Lee Center.

“We deliberately held it during International Education Week,” Dalmut said. “I think the perspective gained was that we are citizens of the world and not just the little place where we live. Citizenship is more than a political thing. Service is a big part of it.”

Marymount President Matthew D. Shank addressed the volunteers and Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde blessed the food before it was shipped. Each sealed, airtight package will provide a family of six a meal that consists of dehydrated vegetables, soy, rice and vitamin supplements. 

Photo Caption: Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde blesses the 10,000 packaged meals before they were shipped to Burkina Faso in West Africa. (Photo by Bob Brown)