Valdosta High students, alums help Rise Against Hunger

Posted at 12:11 AM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 00:11:50-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Up to 811 million people went hungry in 2020 around the world.

This is according to data from UNICEF.

That's nearly two and a half times the number of people living in the U.S.

Rise Against Hunger is one nonprofit working to help.

They say they took a hit because of the pandemic.

But graduates and current students from Valdosta High School are helping them make a difference.

"Our hope is going in those boxes that's in that truck to somebody around the world," Ralph Puckett said.

Puckett has been volunteering with Rise Against Hunger for almost 10 years.

This year, he asked his graduating class of 1970 from Valdosta High to join him in this cause.

The pandemic pushed back their 50th class reunion to this year.

Now, the classes of 1969, 70, and 71 join current students at Valdosta High School to help people in need.

Ashley Jones is one of those students.

"To be able to help people, it always feels good on the inside and to be able to give back to the community and then also do it with alumni from Valdosta High, it's great," Jones said.

She was one of the many volunteers that packed rice, soy, vegetables and vitamins for delivery around the world.

"There's so many people around the world now that are suffering from hunger," Marty LeFiles said.

LeFiles graduated in 1970.

"It's exciting to be a part of that and know that we're helping; especially children," LeFiles said.

He says being able to give back while reconnecting with classmates is a great feeling.

"We lost touch there for a while because of covid," LeFiles said.

Rise Against Hunger says one in 10 people around the world go to bed hungry each night.

This reunion brings generations together to solve a small part of that problem.

Something Puckett says he's proud to be part of.

"Knowing they accomplished something for somebody else that was the true blessing," Puckett said.