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Monarch Dining, ODU Students Joining Forces to Provide Needy Children with Thanksgiving-Style Meal

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Monarch Dining Services, along with the Old Dominion University NAACP, Powhatan Hall staff and the Center for Service and Civic Engagement, are joining forces to host a dinner for children in need on Saturday, Nov. 20, at Legends Café in Whitehurst Hall.

The Bringing the Community to the Table dinner will be held from 3-6 p.m., with a goal of serving 250 meals to underprivileged children from Norfolk. The meal will include traditional Thanksgiving fare, such as turkey, ham, stuffing, vegetables and pie.

"Old Dominion University is a large part of the Norfolk community and it is part of Monarch Dining's mission to make a difference in our community. We are proud to help give back to the children in our local area in such a meaningful way; we hope to make this an annual event," said Janet McLaughlin, resident district manager of Monarch Dining Services.

To help fund the community dinner, Monarch Dining is asking students to donate a meal by swiping their student cards at the Card Center in Webb Center until Friday, Nov. 19.

The children who will be invited to the Nov. 20 dinner are currently participating in programs supported by the local nonprofit VA Kids Eat Free (http://vakidseatfree.com/default.aspx), whose mission is to provide high-quality meals to those who receive state-sponsored free meal assistance during the school year, but typically go hungry when school is not in session.

"As college students, we often forget about the underprivileged kids in the community and don't realize that many won't have a Thanksgiving dinner," said Ebone Taylor, community service chair with the ODU NAACP chapter.

"We wanted to show the importance of getting involved in the local community by interacting with underprivileged youth and highlight the challenges that many children face in getting nutritious, high-quality food outside of the free lunches that they receive at school. This event gives ODU students a genuine opportunity to see how humbling and rewarding volunteering can be."

For more information or to volunteer, contact the Center for Service and Civic Engagement at volunteer@odu.edu or 683-6948.

This article was posted on: November 15, 2010

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