Students volunteer during Homecoming

For the first year in its history, Hurricanes Help the Hometown (HHTH) will host an on-campus service event on Tuesday because of Saturday’s football game against Florida State University. The event is usually held on the weekend.

As part of the service day, HHTH is taking on a new challenge in the fight against world hunger. On Tuesday, student and community volunteers will package 40,000 meals for school lunch programs in developing countries as part of hunger relief organization Stop Hunger Now. The dehydrated, high-protein and nutritious meals will be shipped to other countries.

Hurricanes Help the Hometown, University of Miami’s longest standing service day, is an annual event during Homecoming during which UM students, faculty, alumni and staff give their time to different agencies around the community. Students volunteering off campus are bused to their volunteer locations the day of the event.

HHTH began its collaboration with Students Together Ending Poverty (STEP) when the organization became aware of a Stop Hunger Now meal-packaging event on campus that prepared 10,000 meals. With the sponsorship, their goal is to raise the number of meals prepared to 40,000.

SHN representative Renee Reneau has been working with the organization since senior year of high school.

“It is an absolutely amazing organization,” Reneau said.

SHN allows groups to host meal-packaging events for 25 cents per meal, Reneau said. The meals are shipped to community partners in countries in need, usually through school lunch programs.

Employees from Stop Hunger Now will drive a truck to campus from its warehouse in Orlando with raw materials such as rice, vegetables and soy to package, which will be used to prepare meals. The group will find out which countries the lunches were sent to four to five weeks after Homecoming.

Students are welcome to volunteer at the event in the SAC Activities Center Ballroom, in one-hour shifts from noon to 8 p.m. Both preregistered teams competing in Homecoming and walk-up volunteers are welcome the day of the event.

Junior Joy Emma Martin is excited to work on Tuesday.

“I’m looking forward to participating in Hurricanes Help the Hometown, not only because there is no such tradition in U.K. universities, but also to make a difference through service events,” she said.

Committee Vice Chair Niurka Monteserin also encourages students to volunteer for other events as well. There will be a letter writing station to write notes to sick children in Miami area hospitals. There will also be a book drive.

“We look forward to Tuesday … and encourage everyone to come out and help make an impact,” Monteserin said.

The Hurricanes Help the Hometown event is co-sponsored by Catholic Campus Ministry, the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, the Department of Student Activities and Student Organizations, Students Together Ending Poverty (STEP) and Delta Sigma Pi.

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What: Hurricanes Help the Hometown’s meal-packing event

Where: SAC Center Ballroom

When: Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday

For more information on Homecoming and for a complete schedule of events, visit