APSU joined forces with Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit Christian organization that sends food to over 70 countries worldwide, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy on Friday, Jan. 30.
A total of 530 volunteers participated to create 531 boxes of food, or 114,696 meals, for children in Africa, exceeding the original goal of 100,000 meals. The program was made possible by funding from the APSU Diversity Committee and an E3 grant that Fonda Fields, director of Human Resources, applied for.
Ty Jesinoski, coordinator for Programs and Special Events, knew of Feed My Starving Children because it is based in his home state Minnesota.
“The response from the APSU community was slow at first,” Jesinoski said. “Mostly because I doubt many people heard of Feed My Starving Children before. But once we started to get closer to the event and with some help from President Alisa White sending out e-mails, the response from the APSU community was great, and [it] turned out to be a fantastic event.”
Planning for the event first began last fall. Professor of English and Chair of the Diversity Committee Barry Kitterman said although the committee has wanted to hold an event celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. for years, planning has been a problem since the holiday is at the beginning of the spring semester. Fonda began communicating with Feed My Starving Children early enough, however, that they were able to successfully coordinate the event.
The Thursday before the event, Feed My Starving Children arrived on campus with a semi-trailer of bulk food in tow. Bags of rice exceeding 500 pounds were lifted out of the truck with a forklift. Throughout the evening, the APSU football team assisted in setting up the Foy Fitness Center and on Friday the food was organized into packets designed to provide a meal for six people.
“Most of our volunteers were simply individual students who showed up one by one when they heard about the program,” Kitterman said. “At our first session, several of the campus police officers came to work. At our final session, President White worked at my table to seal the bags of food.” TAS