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150,000 meals packed to 'Hammer Down Hunger'

In just four and a half hours, volunteers scooped, poured and packaged 150,000 meals for families in need.

Posted: Apr 2, 2019 11:15 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2019 2:09 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- Purdue students, staff and community members spent Tuesday hammering down hunger. It's all a part of the university's eighth annual agriculture week. 

While the event takes place every year, the university amped things up for its sesquicentennial.

Instead of packing the usual 70,000 meals, this year's goal was 150,000 meals as a way to celebrate 150 years of giant leaps at Purdue.

In just four and a half hours, 1,000 volunteers scooped, poured and packaged 150,000 individual meals for families in need.

The meals include a serving of rice, beans, protein powder and seasoning. 

"Everyone is divided about agriculture at times, so I think this is a wonderful opportunity to educate and engage not only people that understand agriculture, but the students that don't," Hammer Down Hunger co-chairman Dane Chapman said.

Chapman said the event is a way to engage those outside of the agriculture field.

"Students who are from health and human sciences, from engineering, and there's also little kids [volunteering]," Chapman said. "So it's a fun opportunity to get them involved, make a difference and send meals right here in Indiana, overseas, and educate them about agriculture at the same time."

Olivia West is a sophomore in Purdue University's College of Agriculture. She said ag week is a fun time to participate with everyone else in her cohort, while working alongside Purdue faculty as well.

"One hundred fifty thousand meals for 150,000 giant leaps that Purdue has made," West said. "It truly does take a village to do something like that, and the fact that I get to play a little part in that is awesome."

Nick Bowser, Hammer Down Hunger's second co-chairman is excited about the decision to keep half of the packaged meals in the Hoosier state. 

"This is the first year that we've sent meals to central Indiana as well as overseas," Bowser said. "This year we decided to make a local impact as well so that we would be able to see the impact that's going into our very own community."

Ag week will continue on campus through Friday. To learn more about ag week and to see a list of events, click here. 

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