Volunteers sought to pack meals at Memorial Stadium

CHAMPAIGN — Hundreds of volunteers are being sought to sign up to help package close to 150,000 meals for the hungry at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium next month.

The meal-packing project will be the primary event of the second annual Community & Campus Day of Service set for April 5. The event will kick off National Volunteer Week, which will end April 12 with Austin's Day, another communitywide day of service featuring volunteering.

"The purpose of Community & Campus Day of Service is to encourage volunteering and raise awareness about the level of poverty and hunger in our community," event organizer Sarah Zehr said. "This is a great way to come together as a community and a university, and to provide an example to students about being good civic citizens."

The goal will be to package 147,000 meals, or 1,000 for every year the UI has contributed to the local community since it was chartered, according to UI news release.

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will distribute the meals to needy families in the community.

The event, which is also in need of corporate sponsors, is being coordinated by the student group Illini Fighting Hunger.

Volunteers are welcome to register individually, as families or in groups, and children are welcome to participate with supervision.

Sign-ups are for hour-and-a-half shifts between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. You can register online at http://www.cuvolunteer.org.

The Champaign Rotary and the Centennial High School Interact clubs are organizing the sixth annual Austin's Day along with Interact members from Champaign Central, Urbana and St. Thomas More high schools.

Find information and register for Austin's Day at http://www.austinsday.com.

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