More than 265,000 Meals Packed for Nashville Community
Belmont University hosted nonprofit 9/11 Day’s first nationwide meal packing event in Nashville on Sept. 11, offering space for more than 800 volunteers to pack 267,840 healthy, non-perishable meals. Meals will be distributed through Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to individuals and families at risk of hunger across Middle and West Tennessee.
In Nashville, volunteers from Belmont University joined others from the city’s leading corporations, including LKQ Corporation, Tractor Supply Company, AT&T, CoreCivic, Universal Music Group, Nashville International Airport and ICEE frozen beverages.
“At Belmont, we aim to be a catalyst for hope for our community. We are working as frontrunners in the quest to solve Nashville’s most complex problems through collaboration and social innovation,” said Belmont Provost David Gregory. “This work cannot be done by a single institution or entity, and we are grateful for the many people and organizations throughout Nashville who continue to devote their resources to helping our neighbors and friends thrive. Today is a beautiful illustration of this collaborative effort.”
9/11 Day was founded in 2002 by 9/11 leaders who led the efforts to establish Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law. For the past 22 years, 9/11 Day has become “America’s Day of Doing Good” and the nation’s largest annual day of service. These Meal Pack events represent Americans’ promise to “never forget” by joining together in the spirit of unity and service and spending time helping others in need.
In its inaugural year, the Nashville event for 9/11 Day is one of 18 meal packs that took place in cities across America. As many as 20,000 volunteers participated nationwide, packing more than 6 million meals for 9/11 Day and as part of Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper, Second Harvest CEO and President Nancy Keil and Belmont University Provost David Gregory made remarks at each volunteer shift opening ceremony, and Nashville Fire Chief William Swann led the groups in a moment of silence. Belmont students Mary Grace Smith and Lilymarie Smith performed “America the Beautiful,” and Big Machine Records Artist Darryl Worley performed his 9/11 anthem “Have You Forgotten?”
Keil opened the ceremonies by saying, “You standing here today is proof that together we can move mountains! That every good deed counts, no matter how small, and has the potential to change lives. That a day that started as one of sadness and loss can become one of love and of powerful, positive impact.”
Nationally, the 9/11 Day Meal Pack program is supported by AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, Citi, United Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, Reliance Steel & Aluminum and KPMG.
Photos of the Nashville event in Belmont’s Curb Event Center are available on the University’s Smugmug page.