Westminster Students Volunteer in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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FULTON - Students at Westminster College filled 2,500 buddy packs for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri Monday. Buddy packs are backpacks full of kid-friendly food elementary school kids can take home on weekends or holidays if they are in need. The event was meant to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. The event provided a two-month supply of buddy packs.

Event organizer Rachael Holloway said the college has participated in service projects on Martin Luther King Day for three years. She said she thinks the project promotes Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message because it helps ensure equal educational opportunities for children.

"We have a lot of students with a lot of different backgrounds and we've all been able to go to school, and so we feel like it's really important that while young children are in school, some people are having trouble focusing because of hunger, because of poverty, and if this was a way that we could help them get a better education and move forward, we felt like this was the best way to use it," Holloway said.

The event was in coordination with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, a national campaign calling for volunteer activities through the holiday.

Freda Boateng, a junior at Westminster College, said she participated in the event because it helps support Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message of compassion.

"I just think it's amazing that all of us are working together, and we're not looking at our outer appearances, it's beautiful," Boateng said. "I know [Martin Luther King Jr.] would be so happy if he were here."

Last year's service event provided a two-month supply of buddy packs for the food bank, but last year that number was only 1,700 packs because the need for the program has increased.

For information on volunteering or donating to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, visit its website.