Business students, Sodexo support MLK Center food pantry
A drive spearheaded by members of Salve Regina’s Sigma Beta Delta national business honor society in partnership with Sodexo Dining Services raised $600 for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center food pantry.
Sigma Beta Delta members recruited Salve Regina students on the University’s meal plan to authorize Sodexo to donate $3.50 from the cost of their meals for a day to be donated to support the MLK Center’s food pantry.
Last week, business majors Erica Smith ’13 and Caitlin Seidl ’13 visited the MLK Center along with their Sigma Beta Delta faculty adviser, Dr. Arlene Nicholas, to present a $603 check to Alyson Novick, development director for the center. Sigma Beta Delta members Emma Silva ’13 and Stephanie Neofostistos ’13 were also involved in organizing the effort.
Novick said the funding will help the MLK Center stock its food pantry shelves, not just during the holiday season but beyond, when the need is equally significant.
“This is a really creative way to make a difference,” Novick said. “Hunger doesn’t take a holiday. We need food 365 days a year. We’re seeing hunger spread across all age spectrums and can’t do it all on our own. We really rely on the community and Salve Regina has been a great partner.”
During the Thanksgiving and holiday seasons, the MLK Center provides holiday baskets to their neighbors in need throughout Newport County. Each basket contains the traditional holiday meal, plus enough food to feed the family during the holiday break.
Beyond the holidays, the MLK Center operates a breakfast program Monday through Friday, as well as its Feed a Friend food pantry, which is open three days a week for clients in need.
Altogether, the MLK Center produces more than 76,000 meals for families and individuals annually – many of whom are working multiple jobs and living in Newport County communities not typically known for poverty. About 70 percent of the food currently available at the center’s food pantry is the result of food drives and local donations.