BROOKVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of students on Long Island are making thousands of meals, not only to feed needy families but also to honor a close friend of the school who died while giving back.

Counting scoops of rice, vegetable flakes, and soy protein, students at Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School were working together to pack bags of food for people in need.

“I’m thinking about how many people I can help and how many people I can feed for such a long time,” seventh grader Chloe Findlay said.

In total, the kids are making a whopping 300,000 meals. A third will be shipped to Haiti, and the remaining two-thirds will stay on Long Island to help hungry families.

When mixed with water, each package can serve six people.

“Everybody has a part, either scooping, bagging, lifting and it’s a really good way to bring the community together and serve others,” senior Yeaye Stemin said.

It’s called “Meals From the Heart,” and it was inspired in honor of one of the school’s beloved teachers, Jennifer Green, whose husband, Andrew, was killed during the Haiti earthquake in 2010 while doing missionary work with the United Nations.

“He was working really hard there and he fell in love with Haiti,” Jennifer said. “It was a serious blow. They started this initiative after he died and we’ve been doing it every year since.”

These students were about halfway done with this round of meatpacking on Monday, in an event that runs for three days from eight in the morning to eight at night.

It’s an experience the students say makes them feel empowered.

“It creates a family environment and you really know you’re helping people on the island,” senior Matthew Anez said. “It’s really wonderful.”

Some of the packages have already been picked up by local food shelters and distributed around Long Island. Next, 100,000 more will be shipped to Haiti with the message “With Love, From LU-Hi,” the school’s nickname.