Meals to supply Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Mission Guatemala, a new service-learning and study abroad partner for BW.

BW Prepares 40,000-Plus Meals in Three Hours to “Pack Away Hunger”

November 13, 2015

packaway-hunger-previewBW students, faculty, staff and friends gathered around tables loaded with rice, soy and dried vegetables on Sunday, November 15, and worked with Pack Away Hunger to assemble 41,040 meals in three hours. 

The majority of meals packed in BW’s Ursprung Gym on Sunday will support a community nutrition program for children and families in San Andres, Guatemala through Mission Guatemala, an important new partner for BW. 

Start of an Expansive New BW Alliance


The United Methodist Church (UMC)-affiliated Mission Guatemala will host a group of BW Honors Program students for a Spring 2016 international service-learning experience, but BW is building a more expansive alliance. The goal is to develop a deeper campus wide connection to the Central American nation through ongoing service opportunities at home and abroad.

“As we developed this new partnership with Mission Guatemala we knew that we wanted our engagement to extend beyond our study abroad and service-learning initiatives in Guatemala,” said Christie K. Shrefler, director of BW Explorations/Study Abroad. “We wanted to provide the opportunity for all BW students to be a part of this.”

Building a Strong Foundation For Service Learning Abroad


A delegation of BW faculty and staff visited Mission Guatemala over the summer to help build a foundation for the ongoing partnership (pictured on this page).

Overlapping that expedition, film and international studies major Elise Bigley '16 used a six-week summer internship in Guatemala to create videos that illuminate the organization’s mission and showcase the beauty, culture and challenges of the region. Watch Bigley’s video on hunger in Guatemala.

Pack Away Hunger, Mission Guatemala Teach and Empower

The Pack Away Hunger event that helped to kick off the Mission Guatemala partnership, was also part of the UMC of Ohio's "Five Days of Service” initiative, a collaborative effort by the five Methodist-affiliated universities in Ohio to demonstrate shared institutional values like service.

“On-campus events like Pack Away Hunger allow us to connect more students with the Mission Guatemala programs, while educating about global issues and assets, and empowering BW students to use their education to make a difference with important issues like hunger,” said Christy Burke Walkuski, director of BW’s Office of Community Outreach & Service-Learning. 

Pack Away Hunger drew overwhelming support on and off campus, from the Honors Program, BW’s Cabinet, the United Methodist Church of Berea and many other organizations and individuals. About 4,000 of the meals assembled at the event –which fittingly took place during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 14-22)– will be donated to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. 

PackAway Hunger is a non-profit organization “dedicated to greatly improving the lives of children and others who suffer from hunger and malnutrition