Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Seahawk Hero: Ray Buchanan '72

“Living simply so that others could simply live,” are the words by which one philanthropic Seahawk alumnus lives. Ray Buchanan ’72 has set out to do what many have dreamed of but few have ever thought possible: end world hunger. A Texas native, Buchanan was based at Camp Lejune upon joining the Marine Corps and began his undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Religion at UNCW following completion of his service. During these years of service and as an undergrad, Buchanan realized his passion for religion and helping others and went on to Duke Divinity School, then Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.

Ray Buchanan’s vision to provide international help in the form of nutrition quickly evolved into reality when he partnered with John Hewitt in 1998 to form Stop Hunger Now. The organization has provided over 34 million meals and $70 million in direct aid to the hungry in 72 different countries around the world.

Over 90% of the food has gone to school meals programs, which Buchanan views as a way of tackling some of the most pressing third world issues. He believes that if needy children are being fed, then their parents will send them to school, increasing enrollment. The resulting educated population will provide a better equipped workforce and will be more knowledgeable about health issues, decreasing birthrates and the spread of infectious disease.

Million Meals Packaging Event in Trask
Most recently, Stop Hunger Now has orchestrated the Million Meals Event where volunteer groups gather at universities across to country to pack meals. UNCW rallied up 450 volunteers to participate in this event on Saturday, August 29, 2010 in Trask Coliseum to package meals to be shipped to schools in Haiti, Kenya, and Nicaragua. A second packaging event took place in Hanover Hall on November 13, 2010, resulting in 140,000 meals ready to be shipped across the world.

Ray Buchanan believes that hunger will no longer be an issue in this lifetime if we all join together to donate time and resources to those less fortunate. We, at UNCW, are proud to call him a Seahawk and believe that those dreams can be achieved.

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