The volunteers packaged a total of 428 boxes of food, which equates to 103,248 meals created for children in need.
Nearly 500 volunteers participated in the second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to package more than 100,000 meals for the Feed My Starving Children charity on Friday, Jan. 29, in the Foy Fitness Center.
The all-day event consisted of several waves of volunteers mixing, sealing and packaging bags of easy-to-make meals known as Manna Packs for shipment abroad.
Manna Packs are made up of rice, dried vegetables, soy and vitamins and only need to be placed in boiling water to be ready to eat.
APSU’s Diversity Committee is the organization responsible for bringing the event to campus and hosting it. The committee chose to partner with Feed My Starving Children to make a positive impact and to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
According to Fonda Fields, the chair of the event, APSU has traditionally invited a speaker in order to observe MLK Day but the committee decided they “wanted to do something different that would include students, faculty and staff at the university.”
Feed My Starving Children is a faith-based charity dedicated to “[eliminating] starvation in children throughout the world by helping to instill compassion in people,” according to the organization’s website.
CharityNavigator.org rates Feed My Starving Children as a four-star organization, meaning that it ranks in the top 1 percent of national charities for integrity and trustworthiness.
The majority of volunteers at the event were students. Junior social work major Ben Pafford said he heard of the event through housing.
“I hadn’t even heard about it,” Pafford said. “A lot of people have said they did this last year and I didn’t even know about it. If I wasn’t graduating early next year I would definitely come out again.”
Volunteers also included members of the university faculty, such as assistant professor of sociology Trevor Brooks.
Brooks said he wanted to get involved because he agreed with the cause.
“I just love stuff like this,” Brooks said. “I am a sociologist and a large issue in sociology is child hunger. So it’s just something I’m passionate about.”
The Diversity Committee chair Marsha Lyle-Gonga said the event was a success.
“You look around and you have sororities, you have fraternities, you have staff and you have faculty,” Lyle-Gonga said. “All these groups have come together to truly create a day of service. We’re impacting the lives of a lot of hungry kids today.”