MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Hockey is on the minds of many this week with the puck dropping for the Kraft Hockeyville USA game at Marquette's Lakeview Arena in less than 24 hours.
The event also brings an opportunity for the community to give back.
The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation and the non-profit organization Stop Hunger Now teamed up to incorporate a charity event into the exciting week.
"I think there's a lot of excitement around Kraft Hockeyville, a lot of enthusiasm, so we wanted to harness that to help other people," Kraft Heinz Company Foundation Manager Jenece Upton said.
Over 1,000 students from Marquette Senior High School and surrounding districts spent part of their day Monday packing meals for kids in East Africa.
"I think that it's amazing that all the kids in Africa are getting food," said Noah Tuch, a Marquette Senior High School freshman who packed hunger relief meals Monday. "It's just good for the community and the school to get together and help others that are in need."
Carolina Hurricanes mascot Stormy and Buffalo Sabres mascot Sabretooth were on hand Monday meeting the students packing meals.
Roughly 145,000 hunger relief meals were packed Monday. That's over $42,000 worth of food packed in a matter of hours.
"It's not just about packaging the meals, it's about really engaging [the students] in the fight against hunger," Stop Hunger Now Aid Procurement Director Paul Renaud said. "We could do this with a machine, but the idea is to bring people together to start that discussion, to encourage them to go out and do more after this."
Each meal consists of rice, dehydrated vegetables, soy and a mix of micronutrients that promote healthy growth and development in kids.
The next time these boxes will be opened, they'll be across the world. The meals are expected to be shipped sometime this week.