It’s easy for a single person to feel helpless in the face of really big problems. That’s why UMBC students banded together this week as part of a national effort to tackle hunger.

In partnership with Cheerios and Ellen DeGeneres, and organized at UMBC by Chartwells, which manages Dining Services and True Grit’s dining hall, the “One Million Acts of Good” project made it easy and fun for students to “Matterboxes” with food essentials, notes of encouragement, and educational inserts. The 300 boxes will be shared with five area organizations — Southwest Emergency Services, Elkridge Food Pantry, Maryland Food Bank, Inc., Catonsville Emergency Assistance, and UMBC’s own Retriever Essentials, which runs a campus food pantry and other efforts to combat student food insecurity.

“Helping people is really wonderful,” said freshman Kristy Chan, biology, who cheerfully stuffed boxes alongside her friends, including fellow freshman Kusum Sharma, mechanical engineering.

“Knowing someone out there in the world is going to receive what we’re making is just so great,” agreed Sharma. “It feels good to help.”

Photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC Magazine.

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