A cup of macaroni, a scoop of soy, a packet of red sauce, and lots of dancing resulted in more than 100,000 packed meals for area food pantries by lunchtime on Martin Luther King Day.
On January 21, about 350 volunteers came together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King and to fulfill the Rotary club’s motto, “Service above self.” People from all walks of life formed twenty-six assembly lines throughout the gym of the Duke School in Durham and packed 106,000 meals for those facing food insecurity around the Triangle. Brian Scott of the Durham Rotary club played energetic beats throughout the morning to get everybody motivated and moving.
“This is one of those events where everyone from a five year-old kid to an eighty-five year-old grandma can come and be part of [it] and it’s just so energetic. You see all of the age groups out here participating and really having an impact on our community,” said Newman Aguiar, a former district governor for Rotary Club district 7710.
This marks the tenth year that area Rotary Clubs and Duke’s Office of Durham and Community Affairs have organized the Million-meal event although, according to Aguiar, they actually reached one million meals during their sixth year. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a local nonprofit focusing on food education and distribution, delivered the finished meals to food pantries throughout the Triangle with the help of their partner organizations. Members of A Movable Feast and St. Titus’ Episcopal Church brought cookies, crackers and homemade chili to nourish volunteers as they worked.
In addition to packing meals, the groups collected a total of 669 pounds of canned food, personal hygiene items, and other non-perishable goods as part of a donation drive for the food pantries of Durham Tech and N.C. Central University.
To learn more about upcoming volunteer opportunities in and around Durham, visit community.duke.edu/volunteer