Volunteers help those affected by recent hurricanes

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COLUMBIA - Dozens of volunteers worked against the clock at the Columbia Mall on Saturday to help families affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael.

The Columbia chapter of Kids Against Hunger, an organization that sends meals to starving children all over the world, has a goal of sending 50,000 meals.

Volunteers packed meals for two hours starting at 9 a.m. and again from noon to 2 p.m. Volunteers are split up into groups. Each group has about ten people on it. 

Stephen McBee, the director of satellite development, said each group can pack about 2,000 meals an hour.  

“So we've got three lines going right now, so that’s 6,000 meals an hour that we can crank out,” McBee said. 

The first packing party packed a total of 10,000 meals. 

McBee said the group will have around 60-80 volunteers. 

Tim Hulen was one of those volunteers. He said he loves taking to the people he's working with. 

“It’s kind of monotonous to do the same thing over and over again, but to be able to have the camaraderie and the conversations with people that normally each of us don't probably run in the same circles,” Hulen said.  

He said they became an "instant team pretty quickly." 

“You want to do the best job you can, and you kind of make little races, little games just to, but you want to hit the goal," Hulen said. "That’s what’s important to Stephen and the group."

McBee said the group is looking for other churches, corporations and civic groups to help join the fight. 

"Not only do we want your money, but we also want your hands," McBee said. "And that’s what’s something different about Kids Against Hunger is the fact that you don't just give money, you actually get to be part of the solution, put your hands in the rice."

The organization will send the meals Monday with the help of Convoy of Hope.