The University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus community celebrated Homecoming Week by packing 10,128 meals to help families in need on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The event was facilitated by The Pack Shack, a non-profit dedicated to community service projects that fight hunger.
“This was the perfect time to replenish the Trojan Food Pantry with much-needed meals,” said Rebecca Davis, coordinator for the Trojan Food Pantry. “Every day, several members of our campus community visit the pantry. Often they ask whether we have boxed meals like Hamburger Helper, but often times we don’t have many of the items they’re requesting. The 10,000 meals we’re packing today translate into fully balanced nutritious meals that will better support families.”
More than 40 students, faculty, staff, and alumni helped pack the meals.
“This has been a great event for the school and a lot of fun,” said Darrian Watson, a student and member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. “Community service is highly valued by Phi Beta Sigma. Being able to partner with The Pack Shack and campus friends to feed 10,000 families was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
The event facilitated service to others during Homecoming Week when the campus community celebrates its long-lasting strength and unity as a community of learners invested in one another’s success.
“Homecoming is the perfect opportunity to engage in community service,” said Dr. Mia Phillips, assistant vice chancellor of student affairs. “During this time, students, faculty, staff, and alumni come together to appreciate and celebrate all that UA Little Rock means to us. Given that our own campus community relies on the Trojan Food Pantry, celebrating our togetherness by supporting the pantry feels right during homecoming.”
The Pack Shack works with organizations and businesses across the United States to provide food locally to those in need. Its meals are prepared with guidance from culinary, nutrition, and food safety experts to provide balanced nutrition. Meals provide at least 10 grams of protein per serving and 19 essential vitamins and minerals. Each meal serves 4 to 6 people and has a one-year shelf life.
“We are thrilled to partner with UA Little Rock,” said Nate Wesley, The Pack Shack’s co-facilitator for the event. “Today we provided the food, all of the logistics and materials needed, instructions, and the music and party atmosphere. UA Little Rock provided the opportunity, facility and tables, and the people to pack the meals. Our goal is always to facilitate all of the logistics so the packing team can enjoy the experience together and support their local food pantries.”