Student-athletes donned aprons and hair nets instead of their uniforms for this event.
More than 300 people from the Drake University community, including Bulldog student-athletes and coaches, celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by participating in Meals from the
Heartland at the Drake Fieldhouse on Monday, Jan. 17.
Seventeen teams of Drake Athletes and children who participate in the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, came together for “Drake Feeds the Poor,” a packaging event to provide meals to hungry people in the local community and those around the world.
This is the fourth year Drake student-athletes and coaches have been involved with Meals from the Heartland.
“It’s such a privilege to be doing an event today in celebration of the Martin Luther King holiday,” said Drake Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb. “Today, we’ll be part of serving 15 million meals, some sent with our football team to Africa. The rest of it will be served here in Iowa and around the globe.”
Since 2008, Meals from the Heartland has gathered thousands of Iowans annually for one week for the largest hunger-relief packaging event in the country. Beginning last year, in response to the Haiti earthquake, Meals from the Heartland began coordinating mobile packaging events, resulting in more than 7 million meals produced in 2010.
The Bulldogs set out to package 50,000 meals this year and did so, putting together 51,840 meals. A year ago, nearly 300 volunteers gathered at the Drake fieldhouse to package more than 50,000 meals, which were shipped to South Africa, Haiti, Jamaica, Israel and around the United States.
Each meal package contains rice, soy flour, dried vegetables and a vitamin tablet.
The partnership with Drake to help kick off the school year is a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?”‘
“Martin Luther King Day marks a great day for many people, primarily for those who understand the importance of serving othes,” said Drake Associate Athletic Director Brian Brown. “It reaches beyond just Des Moines and the state of Iowa. Certainly, there is need throughout the world and to take on this type of service is a tremendous thing for our Bulldog family.”
VIDEO INTERVIEWS AND CLIPS FROM MEALS FROM THE HEARTLAND (1/17/11):