Food packaging program sets its sights on 1 million meals delivered to local charities

FITCHBURG, MA, April 25, 2019 – Monty Tech students helped set the stage for a milestone year at the 2019 United Way 3rd Annual Combat Hunger Kick Off Event on April 24. Students packaged 22,224 meals for local food pantries, bringing the Combat Hunger initiative’s total to 928,920 meals packaged since it was founded in 2013. The program is now expected to reach one million meals in November of this year.

“We are thrilled to be nearing one million packaged meals, as this means that we have helped feed nearly one million hungry people,” says UWNCM President Phil Grzewinski. “It’s also fitting that we kicked this year off at Monty Tech, because they have been a great partner in this initiative and have an inspiring culture of community service.”

The event was coordinated by First Sgt. Paul Jornet, who oversees the Monty Tech’s JROTC Program, with support from Superintendent Sheila Harrity, Ed.D. Monty Tech also served as the event sponsor, and nearly 100 student participants helped contribute to the sponsorship fee.

As noted at the event by Matthew Martin, the New England Regional Manager from Outreach Inc., the United Way has packaged the most meals of any organizations in Massachusetts and the second most in New England. Outreach is a global non-profit that provides the meal packaging components for the Combat Hunger events.

The initiative will continue to add meals to its impressive tally at several upcoming Combat Hunger events. These include the 5th Annual Devens Event to be held at St. Anthony of Padua Church on May 15, which has already reached full volunteer capacity; and multiple packaging sessions taking place as part of Fitchburg State University’s freshman orientation activities in June.

Community members can support Combat Hunger—which enables the United Way to package a meal that will feed a family of four for just 38 cents—by volunteering at events or making a gift to the United Way. Visit or call 978-345-1577 for more information.

The United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Pepperell, Lunenburg, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.