Meal Packing Part of 9/11 Remembrance

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UNG has received a $41,500 military college grant to support a food packing event on Sept. 7 in remembrance of the Sept. 11 attacks.

By Clark Leonard

The University of North Georgia (UNG) has received a $41,500 military college grant to support a food packing event on Sept. 7 in remembrance of the Sept. 11 attacks. AmeriCorps and MyGoodDeed, the nonprofit that founded 9/11 Day, funded the grant.

UNG students, faculty and staff can sign up to help pack 100,000 meals in 90-minute shifts at 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Convocation Center at UNG’s Dahlonega Campus. More than 300 volunteers are needed to pack the meals that will be distributed by local nonprofits.

“It’s a great way to connect with and serve the community,” Mallory Rodriguez, director of student leadership, said.

Then, the Student Government Association (SGA) and Corps of Cadets will host a 9/11 remembrance at 7:30 p.m. that day in the Convocation Center. Retired Lt. Col. Keith Antonia, interim vice president for Leadership and Global Engagement, will serve as keynote speaker.

Antonia retired from 20 years of service in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer in August 2001. During his Army career, he served two tours in the 82nd Airborne Division, two tours in the 75th Ranger Regiment, and three tours in the Airborne Ranger Training Brigade. He was designated a distinguished member of the Ranger Training Brigade in 2005; inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 2009; and served as Honorary Colonel of the Ranger Training Brigade from 2011-2014.

The Pack Shack will provide the meals UNG students, faculty and staff will pack.

“In partnership with 9/11 Day, The Pack Shack is honored to work with UNG volunteers to pack 100,000 delicious, healthy meals for neighbors in need in Georgia. Across its multiple campuses, UNG has an important role as a corporate citizen,” Bret Raymond, CEO of The Pack Shack, said. “Their authentic desire and action to help those affected by food insecurity in Georgia is an inspiration to us all and is representative of what it means to be neighborly.”

Emma Mitchell, SGA president, is grateful for the service opportunity tied to remembering Sept. 11.

“We’ll help our students increase their involvement so they can connect more to the ceremony,” Mitchell said.

Lumpkin County Family Connection Director Brigette Barker will help UNG ensure the meals are distributed where they are needed. Lumpkin County Family Connection is part of Georgia Family Connection, the only statewide network of its kind in the country with partners in all 159 counties working toward measurably better outcomes for children, families and communities through identifying and bridging service gaps.

“This project helps fill a really big need in the community. I’m super proud to partner with UNG on this as an alumna and former faculty member,” Barker said. “It’s a great opportunity for UNG students to learn about the community they live in and get involved.”

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