More than 750 people from around the Valley will spend the anniversary of 9/11 in Tempe helping others, packing hundreds of thousands of healthy, non-perishable meals to be donated to the United Food Bank and St. Mary’s Food Bank for distribution to individuals and families at risk of hunger.
The Arizona Meal Pack for 9/11 Day is being held at Mullett Arena at Arizona State University on Sept. 11.
It will be cohosted by AmeriCorps and the nonprofit 9/11 Day, which was founded in 2002 and led the efforts to establish Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law, according to a press release.
Now in its fifth year, the Arizona Meal Pack for 9/11 Day is one of 18 9/11 Day Meal Packs that are being organized in cities across America.
As many as 20,000 volunteers are expected to participate nationwide, packing more than 6 million meals for 9/11 Day and as part of Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month.
In Phoenix, more than 34 of the area’s corporations and their employees are planning to participate in the Arizona Meal Pack for 9/11 Day, including Fry’s Food Stores and the Arizona Lottery.
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.
“We are proud to participate in supporting 9/11 Day as part of National Hunger Action Month,” said Jerry Brown of St. Mary’s Food Bank in the release. “The meals that volunteers will pack will make an important difference to make people in our community who are food insecure.”
According to the release, the 9/11 anniversary has transformed into the largest day of service in America.
Overall, more than 30 million Americans participate in 9/11 Day each year, dedicating time to helping others in need, and rekindling the spirit of unity that brought Americans together in the days following the 9/11 tragedy.
As a growing annual tradition, many Americans also share their “good deed” plans via social media on the morning of Sept. 11, under the annual #IWillFor911Day social media initiative.
“Through a spirit of unity and an enduring commitment to our most cherished values, the 9/11 Day of Service provides Americans an opportunity to reflect, remember and take action, knowing we’re unstoppable when we stand together,” said Michael D. Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps, in the release.