Every Tuesday, FAMU’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) has participated in “Meals on Wheels,” a community service program in Tallahassee.
Meals on Wheels is a program that delivers food to elderly citizens in the community.
The Nationwide campaign seeks to address the challenges faced by aging seniors, ultimately working to combat their hunger and isolation.
When hearing of the program, SAAC advisor, Xavier Mackey saw it as a great way for student athletes to get involved in the community.
“When the idea was brought to us we decided it was a good way for us students to get involved because it allows us to remain humble and help those in need. As athletes we tend to forget how fortunate we are, so Meals on Wheels brings us back to reality,” said Mackey.
FAMU student-athletes pack into the university vans each Tuesday to embark on this journey, stopping first at the Elder Care Services center located on Tennessee St. There, the program director assigns a box, filled with hot and cold meals to be distributed, as well as a map and list of houses to deliver the meals to.
Fourth-year pre-occupational therapy student from Sandersville, Ga., and track runner Ashley Ivey, feels that this process is important to her because of the effect it has on others.
“I feel it is my duty to help give back to the university and its community in the best way I can. I always seek nothing in return. Just to see the smiles on their faces is a great reward,” said Ivey.
Third-year business administration student and football player from Lakeland, Sharard Saddlers agrees that the interaction with the elderly provides for a great experience.
“Meals on Wheels is a humbling and heartwarming part of my week. While most of the elderly are elated to see us, we’re even happier to see them week in and week out,” said Saddlers.
SAAC partakes in delivering meals every Tuesday and encourages student athletes from every sports organization to take part. Those who are unable to however, are presented with plenty of other opportunities to earn community service hours, all provided by SAAC.
FAMU has been recognized several times for its partnership with Meals on Wheels and the athletes insist that they will continue giving back to a community that has given them so much.
Meals on Wheels will end on Tuesday, April 19, and will resume in the fall.