Gladitood CEO Ryan Brennell participated in the 2014 St. Louis World Food Day at John Burroughs School on October 10.

“As soon as I heard about it, I couldn't wait to get involved,” said Ryan. “The impact we were able to make as a team was incredible. In just half a day, we were able to package more than 100,000 meals!”

In fact, they exceeded the goal of 250,000 by packaging more than 382,000 rice/soy protein meals and fortified macaroni and cheese meals to help feed malnourished children and adults. According to the World Health Organization a child dies every six seconds from malnutrition and related illnesses. To combat this problem, volunteers from across the St. Louis region join together every year as part of World Food Day and package meals to go to those who need it locally and abroad.

During the day, Ryan had the opportunity to meet St. Louis World Food Day’s Honorary Chair Doug Pitt, who recently started a new organization serving St. Louis school kids called Care To Learn. Ryan also met Matt Hamilton, the VP of Operations at Outreach, which is the amazing organization responsible for providing the meal supplies for St. Louis World Food Day and distributing them to communities in Tanzania. The local meal distribution partner for the event is St. Louis Area Foodbank.

Thousands of volunteers spent the day boxing meals. Ryan’s job was to make sure the assembly lines stayed full on supplies, which meant running bags of rice and soy to tables when they got low. He said, “My favorite thing about the day was the diverse group of participants. All races, religions, and social classes were present, and it was incredible to see everyone come together for this great cause.“

St. Louis World Food Day raises awareness, increases understanding, and equips people to take action to alleviate hunger. On behalf of Gladitood, we encourage you to get involved and join us next year! Children are invited to participate (7+ years old) and there is a nominal registration fee that goes toward defraying the cost of the food packaging ingredients. In addition to contributing to a wonderful cause, it's a fast-paced environment with a lot of great people. We guarantee anyone who signs up will have a blast participating!