During the week of February 26th, hundreds of students and volunteers at 50 college campuses in 26 states packed 30,000 healthy snack packs and distributed them throughout their communities, kicking off the first-ever nationwide MATTERbox packing event.

MATTER partnered with Cheerios and Ellen Degeneres’ One Million Acts of Good and Chartwells to activate healthy eating in communities by providing nutritious food along with motivational nutrition education. The snack pack items included Whole Grain Cheerios, Nature Valley bars and Larabars, generously donated by General Mills, one of our Companies that MATTER.

Hundreds of students and volunteers helped organize and participate in the campus events. Halls and cafeterias were transformed into organized packing stations, with some campuses adding balloons, music, and school mascots to keep the volunteers energized as they packed. Many of the groups made inspiring videos that captured the enthusiasm and caring spirit of the participants.

The volunteers carefully tucked hand-written You MATTER notes into every box they packed. Designed to encourage the recipients of the boxes, the notes add a personal touch by giving those packing the boxes a way to connect with those receiving them.

“It’s important for us all to come together to support one another. At the end of the day, we’re all people and we all have backstories. To just show someone that kindness and care, and that they’re thought of, it can go a really long way.” Student Volunteer Amanda Hall, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

One of the community organizations that received MATTERboxes was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami in Florida. On their Facebook post, pictures of smiling children eagerly receiving their boxes accompanied a message of thanks:

“Thank you to University of Miami for providing these wonderful MATTERboxes to our kids at BBBSM Center for Excellence programs! Such a special after school surprise with a box full of healthy snack choices and information for our kids and their families! U made them all very happy!”

Lack of access to healthy food and nutrition education are a reality for many in the U.S. The MATTERbox program is a practical and easy way for businesses and organizations across the country to reach out and activate healthy eating in their communities. The results will be not only a healthier community, but a more connected one.

“I truly believe that the success behind this challenge lies in the fact that one act of good can inspire so many others…I hope that my one act of goodness will inspire someone else to make a difference within their community so over time the world will become a more considerate and philanthropic place.” – Student Luciana Gizzo, Sacred Heart University

For more information on MATTERbox or to find out how your company or school can get involved, please contact tyler@matter.ngo.