Students have the opportunity to donate their unused prepaid meals to provide lunch for the homeless in Oklahoma City.
The meals will be donated to The Homeless Alliance, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with service providers, city government and local businesses to bring the community together to end homelessness in Oklahoma City, according to its website, homelessalliance.org. It is located about 10 minutes away from campus at 1724 N.W. 4th Street.
David Hall, sociology and music education sophomore and president of Ris4thursday, came up with the idea for Holiday Hospitality because he was formally in foster care and said he knows how important that meal can be.
Nirali Mickow, director of operations for food service on campus, and Lori Walker, director of auxiliary services, approved the idea with a cap of 150 meals. Mickow and Walker were unavailable for comment Dec. 9.
On average, The Homeless Alliance serves about 275 people a day so Hall is planning to serve 300, Hall said. Officials from The Home Alliance will be matching Sodexo’s 150 meals to meet that amount.
The donated meals would come specifically from meal plans C and D and require a minimum of 23 remaining meals. Remaining Stars Cash and points may also be used.
“It allows students to use their prepaid meals to be able to serve the community in a very simple fashion and to do something very positive across the state,” Hall said.
There will be a table 2-5 p.m. Dec. 10 outside the caf in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center with flyers to use for Sodexo to keep track of how many meals are being used. Any student interested in donating meals would just present the flyer.
The Homeless Alliance also is accepting donations of gloves, hats, socks, new or gently used shirts and pants—size large or larger, and new or used books that can be brought to the table outside the caf.
OCU’s caf staff will be preparing the meals, but students will be the ones transporting and serving it.
Hall is looking for a minimum of eight volunteers to help transport and serve the food, as well as spend time talking with the homeless, between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 11. Any student, faculty or staff interested in volunteering should visit the Facebook event, Holiday Hospitality: Event Coordination. People interested in volunteering or that have questions may also contact Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers must wear long pants and closed toe shoes.
“We’re going to show the homeless community that we do care and that as students at OCU, we are not here just to get a degree,” Hall said. “It’s a great way to get rid of meals and have a very lasting impact.”