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Meals of Hope hosts third annual Holidays Without Hunger event to package food for people in need

Meals of Hope hosts third annual Holidays Without Hunger event to package food for people in need
Volunteers work to put together packaged meals at the 2014 Holidays Without Hunger event. The event packaged more than 500,000 meals for people in need.

The third annual Holidays Without Hunger event will be hosted from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Christmas Eve at the Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.
The event hopes to package more than 500,000 meals in two hours for families in need. Each meal costs 20 cents, and donations can be made online. There will be 125 ten person stations set up sponsored by local groups, organizations and families to help cover the cost of the meals. Each volunteer will package 400 meals in two hours.

Another meal packaging event will be hosted the night before from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 23 to package more than one million meals.

“My family has gone every year since the first year,” said Lindsey Morimanno, an FGCU sophomore. “It’s a great way to give your time in the season of giving, and it just connects you as a family. It makes you feel good.”
The inaugural event in 2013 packaged more than 506,000 meals with over 2,000 volunteers. In 2014, the event volunteers packaged an additional 36,000 meals from the first year.

The Holidays Without Hunger event is hosted by Meals of Hope, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that has packaged more than 28 million meals to
date. The organization hosts packaging events throughout the year to donate to other organizations or countries in need.

Monthly or onetime donations can be made to Meals of Hope online at mealsofhope.org. Meals of Hope started in Southwest Florida and has expanded to other communities and states. Meals are distributed through the Feeding America Food Bank Network. Holidays Without Hunger is the biggest meal packaging event hosted by Meals of Hope.

The organization is looking for 1,250 volunteers to fill the 125 tables for the event. To register for the 2015 holiday event or to make a donation, visit holidayswithouthunger.org.

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