FULTON, Mo. -- Faculty, staff, and students at Westminster College will fill 2,500 buddy packs for the local food bank as a part of the campus plan to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a day of service.
Bringing the Westminster community together to prepare Buddy Packs for The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri is the central project among a series of campus service activities to celebrate the day. Members of the Westminster community will gather from 10 a.m. to noon today in the Mueller Student Center to volunteer time for the project.
Currently, 11 different student organizations have volunteered their services to help reach the campus goal. Last year the Westminster community scheduled a similar activity but completed filling 1,700 buddy packs, so this will set a new campus record.
Buddy packs are backpacks filled with kid-friendly, nutritious food that students take home over the weekend or holiday periods to supplement their meals where there is not enough for them to eat at home. Then the students bring the empty buddy pack back to school to be refilled.
During the 2012-13 school year, the Buddy Pack program fed more than 6,700 children every week. The Food Bank partners with elementary schools in 28 of the 32 counties it serves.
Westminster is partnering with Central Christian Church, the regular distributor of the Callaway County Buddy Packs.
This is the first event in Westminster's Semester of Service campaign, "Global Access to Education."
"Dr. King's dedication to social justice and equal education opportunities provide the catalyst for our focus on injustices inhibiting education," says Rachael Holloway, fellow with the Westminster Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning, which is coordinating this effort.
Several Westminster student organizations also have service activities taking place in conjunction with MLK Day.