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Feeding the need: MLK Day of Service at ULM/LDCC provides 3,092 meals in community

Published Jan. 27, 2021

Thanks to the contributors and volunteers for the University of Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana Delta Community College MLK Day of Service, more than 3,000 meals will go to feed the hungry in the community.

On Jan. 18, 2021, ULM's Division of Student Affairs and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and LDCC collected 3,710 lbs. of food that will allow the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana to provide a total of 3,092 meals to our community.



ULM MLK Day of Service 01.27.21 sg


The University of Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana Delta Community College continued working together on Martin Luther King Day of Service on Jan. 18. This year, more than 3,700 lbs. of food was collected and donated to the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. Thanks to the donations and volunteers, the Food Bank will provide 3,092 meals to the community.

Siddharth Gaulee/ULM Photo Services





For more than 10 years, ULM and LDCC have partnered to assist a local community agency. This year volunteers collected donations for the Food Bank, which provides thousands of meals in the region and supplies the ULM Student Food Bank. 


"Service learning is an important part of the education that students are offered at ULM. The MLK Day of Service provides an opportunity for students to engage in learning outside of the classroom. An opportunity to learn about the needs and issues of communities. Issues and needs they are learning to address or may be facing themselves. What better way to enhance that learning than to engage in addressing it simultaneously?" stated Pamela Saulsberry, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 


"Dr. King is rightly remembered for his work in addressing civil rights issues. Often forgotten is that he was just as adamant about social and economic inequality as well. MLK once said, 'Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?' That, for me, encapsules the reason behind ULM's MLK Day of Service. This is an opportunity for students to learn and serve at the same time," Saulsberry said.


Canned goods and non-perishable donations were collected on ULM and LDCC's campuses for several weeks before the day of service. 


Alvina Thomas, Dean of Student Affairs at LDCC, said, "Dr. Martin Luther King states in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, 'I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education, and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.' While LDCC's MLK Day of Service partnership with ULM provided food to the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, our partnership also provided hope to people who are in need."   


Working in shifts throughout the day, about 270 ULM and LDCC students, faculty, staff, and community members volunteered to participate. These volunteers transported and organized the collections at LDCC's campus for delivery to the Food Bank.


"This year, I was allowed the chance to be more involved in the MLK Day of Service event, and it was a very humbling experience. It is always good to see the ULM community come together volunteering items as well as their time for such a great cause. I look forward to this event each year because it allows me the opportunity to give back to those that are in need," stated Emily Essex, ULM Director of Student Life and Leadership. 


John McKeel, a ULM student and president of the Campus Activities Board, was moved by his experience as a volunteer for MLK Day of Service, describing the experience as "amazing."


"It was amazing to see everyone come together in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This was my first year participating in the Day of Service, and I can say that I felt an immense feeling of selflessness mixed with honor to have the opportunity to help out the community on this day. Personally, I loved how diverse the group of volunteers were because it represented Martin Luther King's ideology and furthered the message that the University of Louisiana Monroe will continue to uphold his dream of equality amongst all," McKeel said.