MLK Day: Community gives back with IFFS

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?’” Today, hundreds across the Triangle answer Dr. King’s question with: “Building a healthy, hunger-free community!”

"MLK Day of Service is one of my most favorite days of the year,” said Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Volunteer Coordinator Dalia Place. “From the first-time volunteer to the veterans, there is a sense of community and passion that is ignited by Dr. King’s legacy. There is a jubilant vibe among our volunteers as they help hungry neighbors through our Backpack Buddies and Grocery Bags for Seniors programs.”

Here’s a look at what was accomplished across the Triangle:

Packing #BackPackBuddies Bags at Marbles Kids Museum


Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh once again hosted IFFS for Community Heroes Day. They turned one of their multipurpose rooms into a mini assembly line where volunteers of all ages filled bags with healthy snacks and food for local school kids. The event is a great draw for families, because volunteering is a great way to spend the day off from school and work.

“We discussed that on the way here. It means a lot because it gives them a chance to know what it’s like to help somebody else. They were really excited to be a part of it,” said mother Chassity Bynum.

Sadly, 1-in-4 children in North Carolina is at risk for hunger, and many who receive free or reduced-price meals at school go without food over the weekends. These BackPack Buddies bags ensure nutritious meals over the weekend so that every child can return to school Monday morning nourished and ready to learn.

Packing Grocery Bags for Seniors


The elderly in our community also face a unique set of challenges that can lead to hunger. Living on a fixed income can make it hard to afford adequate, healthy groceries…for those who can get to the store. With age often comes limited mobility and scarce transportation options.

That’s why the United Way connected several volunteers to IFFS for an opportunity with our Grocery Bags for Seniors. Today the volunteers packed bags with carrots, potatoes, apples, oranges, and snacks, and then delivered the food to residents at Summerhaven and Wintershaven senior living facilities.

Packing Soup Bags

Staff and students from Durham Tech, Duke University, and Rotary Durham joined forces via the Triangle United Way with a goal to create over 100,000 meals today. Four hundred volunteers gathered to assemble more than 25,000 packets of soup mix on Durham Tech’s campus.

Each soup packet contains food like dried beans and a bouillon cube, and can easily be cooked into a nutritious dinner for four. That incredible impact was made possible through a generous food purchase by Joyce McKinney on behalf of Rotary Durham. The soup packets will be distributed to our neighbors in need through IFFS programs such as BackPack Buddies, School Pantries, Grocery Bags for Seniors, and Mobile Markets.

1.19.15 MLK Day of Service First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh
1.19.15 MLK Day of Service First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh

On the Farm

About two dozen volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh dressed in layers and lent a hand at our Tryon Road Teaching Farm! The sky was clear blue as they performed helpful tasks such as weeding, digging up dock, and feeding the goats.

Your Turn

If you would like to volunteer with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, view our many opportunities here or contact Dalia ( to get started!


By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: