WIPPS awarded Martin Luther King Day of Service Grant

MLK Day of ServiceA  grant awarded to WIPPS from the national Martin Luther King Day of Service program will be used to hold an Oxfam Hunger Banquet at First United Methodist Church, 903 3rd St.,  from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday,  January 21.

When people arrive at the banquet, they pick a ticket from a basket that determines if they are low, middle, or upper class. Depending on which ticket they select, they are assigned a certain amount of food and luxury – from eating rice at a communal bowl to full-service dining with table linens. Community speakers will discuss local hunger and poverty in the community, with diners invited to share what this event made them experience.

The purpose of the MLK Day Community Partnership Project is to mobilize college students, community members and community organizations to observe MLK Day not as “day off” but a “day on.”

“There are two types of issues you can address when applying for the MLK Day of Service Grant -supporting veterans, or helping the hungry,” said Leo Moua, WIPPS research assistant. “We chose to set a plan around the latter, because we felt that the two problems go hand-in hand.”

Over the last month, Moua and WIPPS research assistant Alex Sowieja have been working with WIPPS interns Konnor Denzine, Jonathan Dzwonkowski, Mirella Espino, Cheng Khang and Tee Vang to create a budget and proposal, conduct research and secure other grant requirements.

WIPPS plans to invite 20 nonprofit community organizations such as the Women’s Community, the Neighbor’s Place, and the United Way to promote their services. Attendees will have a chance to speak to these organizations before entering the banquet.

To address program sustainability, two follow-up planning sessions will be held with community partners to ensure the Oxfam Hunger Banquet continues on an annual basis.

With the help of the Marathon County Hunger Coalition and its 57 community partners and through the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, WIPPS hopes to further support local families and the growing need to raise awareness about hunger in Marathon County.