Valencia College students banded together on April 11 to pack 25,000 meals, which will be donated to food banks in Osceola County.
During the meal-packing event, which was held on Friday at the Osceola Campus, dozens of volunteers rolled up their sleeves and packaged two types of meals: beans-and-rice meals fortified with vitamins and minerals and fortified macaroni and cheese meals. Meals of Hope food packages were designed to address the need for an economical, nutritious solution to aid in the fight against hunger. Each bag contains enough food to provide six meals.
The meals will be donated to the Osceola Council on Aging and the Help Now of Osceola shelter in Kissimmee.
The organizations paid nothing for the meals. Earlier in the year, the college’s Student Government Association, Valencia Volunteers, REACH and Seneff Honors College students partnered with Valencia’s Rogue Scholars Band and the Valencia Foundation to raise $5,500 to pay for the meal ingredients. The students then donated their labor to package the meals, so they could give back to their own community.
The event is particularly meaningful for many student participants who have had to rely on local food banks in the past, said Dr. Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Osceola and Lake Nona campuses. “It’s also great to involve students in a fundraising project that has a tangible outcome for them to see.”