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Carrying on a legacy that extends over a century, Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) joined forces with Stop Hunger Now on July 12 to do their part in the fight against global hunger. Gathering at the Charlotte Convention Center in North Carolina, over 2,000 volunteers gave their day to put together packages of food to be sent to West Africa.

AKA is the oldest sorority in the nation, comprised mainly of African American women, and was established at a time when the workforce was male dominated and segregation was the norm. The sorority served as a network of support for women at the time and has gone on to make a difference in civil rights movements and philanthropic efforts since it was established in 1908.

Carolyn House Stewart, the international president for the sorority, remarked on the generosity and strength of these women, explaining, “All of them helped change the landscape. All helped humanity.”

The sorority stands by the theme “Global Leadership Through Timeless Service,” and the event on Saturday was the epitome of these words, as the women worked tirelessly to make a difference.

Over the course the day, the women worked in one-hour shifts in teams of six to package 100,000 meals that will be sent to West Africa. The packages contain “highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, flavoring and 21 essential vitamins and minerals.” At the end of the day, the volunteers had handled 7.5 tons of food, food that will go on to help thousands of starving people.

The sorority was joined by Stop Hunger Now, an organization that has been helping the world for 15 years now. Since its establishment, Stop Hunger Now has distributed 140,000,000 meals and other aid to 65 countries around the world. It has been very successful as an organization, working hard to mobilize necessary resources to assist those most desperate for help.

Rod Brooks, the president and CEO of Stop Hunger Now, explained the logic behind the organization, saying, “Hunger is solvable and is the common thread among the world’s most challenging issues. When hunger is targeted, you give leverage and hope to every other cause including poverty, disease, education and the welfare of women and children.”

Both organizations came together to honor Nelson Mandela for this event, and he will be internationally celebrated on July 18. Based on the success of their community service efforts, AKA and Stop Hunger Now suitably paid homage to Mandela’s memory.

Worldwide, almost 870 million people lack access to the food and other resources they need to survive on a daily basis, and every day, 25,000 people die as a result. These conditions are fueled by extreme poverty and are also difficult to overcome while poverty still exists. Organizations like Alpha Kappa Alpha and Stop Hunger Now are able to bring some relief to this vicious cycle. They have recognized a need for international support for those suffering around the world, and for the time being, their efforts will help keep thousands of people alive in West Africa.

– Magdalen Wagner

Sources: Q City Metro, Lake Wylie Pilot, News West 9
Photo: Q City Metro

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