LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Long Beach High School seniors wanted to do a class project that would make an impact beyond their school and community. On Thursday, they donned hair nets and gloves to help feed the hungry around the world. It was a very busy assembly line.
The students set up their packing stations at 8 a.m. More than 120 Long Beach High students and teachers stood side by side, scooping and pouring, measuring and counting.
"It's really awesome. We didn't know how the students were going to respond, but this is incredible," said Long Beach senior Annie Nabors.
The students chose to support Stop Hunger Now as their senior class project. The hunger relief organization is based in Raleigh, NC. It ships food to some of the poorest areas of the world, like Haiti and Burundi.
Each bag contains rice, soybeans, dehydrated vegetables and a vitamin packet. It's enough to feed a family of six.
"I thought it's been a lot of fun. It's been really impactful that we're actually making a difference as a class project," said Long Beach senior Michael McMillan.
The students didn't just provide the labor. They raised more than $3,000 to cover the cost of all the food, supplies and transportation.
"We fund raised with homecoming and bake sales. I mean, all of us on student council worked really hard to make this happen," said Nabors.
"It's unbelievable. We love it. We can't do it without them. We want them to be on the forefront of what we think is a substantial piece to ending hunger in our lifetime," said Stop Hunger Now Program Manager Matt Casteel.
They wanted to pack more than 10,000 bags of food. Each time they finished 1,000 bags, they celebrated by banging a gong.
"Really awesome. That means we finished another bag, and more people are being helped," said Michael. "I just thought it was cool that we could help people not just in our community, but we can help people around the world."
Less than two hours later, they reached their goal of 10,152 meals. The food will be stored at a warehouse in Richland, MS, until they are ready to be shipped. Last year, Stop Hunger Now sent food to 30 countries.