ELMIRA | More than 200 people filled the Food Bank of the Southern Tier Monday to serve and learn on the MLK Jr. National Day of Service.

“We’ve had a lot of individuals, school groups and employees of the Rockwell Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass stop by to help sort and repack food items for people in need,” said Krista Matia, a Food Bank spokesman. “Many also took part in a simulation to help people understand the reality of hunger.”

The day of service and learning event was held in honor of  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Food Bank warehouse.

Natasha Thompson, Food Bank president & CEO, said many people at the day-long event enjoyed spending time sorting and repacking food items and to participate in educational activities.

“The event went great,” Thompson said. “I think the people who came out today enjoyed it.”

Khalil Tranchant, 16, of Horseheads, agreed.
 
“I think it’s been really fun,” Tranchant said. “There was a simulation Hunger 101, it’s just helped us figure out what people are going through. It was pretty cool.”

Julie Fielding, an Elmira College employee, said she and several other fellow Elmira College employees were honored to take part in the event.

“It’s important to give back,” Fielding said. “The Food Band does so much for the greater community. If I can lend a helping hand to them and contribute to the Food Bank that’s what I want to do. It’s important to give back.”

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier distributes food to people struggling with hunger through a network of 165 food pantries, meal programs, shelters and other hunger relief agencies in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins Counties.

The Food Bank also directly serves people in need through Kids’ Farmers Markets, and the BackPack Program and Mobile Food Pantry Program. Through advocacy, education and community partnerships, the Food Bank’s vision is to create a future without hunger for everyone in the Southern Tier.