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MLK food drive yields over 1,000 pounds of food for Kearney families
Justine Agaloos
Antelope Staff

Despite the freezing cold winter on Monday, Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Day was a day of giving for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Students from Tribunal Counsel of African Descent Students (TCADS), Hispanic Student Association, Student Kouncil of Intertribal Nations (SKINS), Ladies Mix Dance Team, Asian American Student Association and Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) took part in the Martin Luther King food drive. The students used this holiday food drive to remember the millions of individuals who go hungry every day.

Statistically, it is estimated that every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger, and one out of every eight children under the age of 12 in the U.S. goes to bed hungry every night. To change this situation, the Office of Multicultural Affairs took the time to contribute to collect dry goods and canned food for the Nebraska Food Bank.

Juan Gallegos of Queer Straight Alliance decided to participate because he has known families who lost everything because of natural causes or financial instability. He said he understands the families have no place to go or any money to start over. Thus, Gallegos believes the food pantry can help people with their basic needs such as food and toiletries.

“Volunteering has given me the feeling of satisfaction, plus the hope that if I’m in need someone will lend me a hand. That is the best part,” Gallegos said.

The multicultural organizations split into different zones of Kearney to collect dry canned goods into “pre-shopped” plastic bags. Items included refried beans, blueberry mix, pasta sauce, cereal, instant potatoes, canned fruits, vegetables and soups. After hours of collecting, the students collected over 1,000 pounds of food.

Gallegos believes students  should not hesitate to  volunteer because of the benefits that come back to those who offer service to others. “I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to volunteer as they see fit. I don’t believe people should be forced to do volunteer work if they don’t feel like doing it, but if they do more power to them,” Gallegos said.

The Mid-Nebraska Community Service Center Food Bank offers volunteer, housing, employment, program, educational, health, senior citizen, transportation and nutrition services.

The Mid-Nebraska Food Bank started its Food Rescue Program with help from seven Wal-Marts and one Good Sam’s Club. The Food Bank uses a refrigerated truck to pick up grocery items including frozen meats, dairy items, bakery and deli products from the local Wal-Marts.

Then the food is distributed to families in crisis.

In addition, Mid-Nebraska Food Bank helps prevent food waste collect donations from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. The Mid-Nebraska Food Bank staff is trained to handle food according to food industry standards. Mid-Nebraska offers people the opportunity to contribute to the community and make a positive impact. For more information you can visit:


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