For the eighth year, NOVA faculty, staff, students and community members came together in an effort to help others. The College celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by continuing its tradition of packaging food for those in need around the world.
NOVA partnered with Stop Hunger Now and the West Springfield Rotary Club to package more than 17,000 meals to be distributed. They also collected canned goods to donate to the on-campus food pantry and local shelters.
More than 300 people volunteered their time on MLK Day, creating assembly lines in the Forum Gallery of the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center to package the meals instead of taking a day off for the national holiday. Alexandria Provost Annette Haggray acknowledged the volunteers’ efforts and sacrifice by being present at the event.
“Thank you for being here today to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King and for sacrificing your time today,” Haggray said to the volunteers. “This is what making a difference looks like, when people come together and do something for others. So I applaud you all for being here as we acknowledge and recognize the life and legacy of Dr. King.”
This event was open to all NOVA faculty, staff, students and community members. Manassas Provost Molly Lynch was also present to show support and volunteer for the Day of Service. NOVA Serves receives huge support and a lot of interest each year for the MLK Day of Service event. Organizer Dr. Frances Villagran-Glover said they had to close registration for the event after only two weeks because they received so many volunteers.
During the event, the West Springfield Rotary Club celebrated 100 years in the community and encouraged students to research various opportunities they offer to youth and college students in the area.
Since 1998, Stop Hunger Now has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world. The food kit process combines rice, soy dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. The organization works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals to countries in need. The majority of Stop Hunger Now meals supply school lunch programs.
View NBC Washington’s coverage of the volunteer event online.