POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was not a day off for a group of women connected through a century-old sisterhood.
“He was about service. So you serve – that’s just what we do. We are of service to all mankind and that’s why we are here today,” said Deva Simmons, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., Omicron Kappa Omega chapter.
For the first time since the pandemic, sorority sisters from the Plant City-Lakeland-based chapter packed meals at kidsPACK, a local organization that helps children facing hunger in Polk County.
During the pandemic, the chapter raised nearly $3,000 for kidsPACK.
“If a child is not fed, they can’t concentrate in school so that also goes to education and their learning process,” said LaTrice Moore, vice president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., Omicron Kappa Omega chapter.
AKA, a historically black sorority, celebrated its 115th anniversary this weekend.
Dr. King’s wife, Coretta, was an honorary member.
“I think they would be very proud to see that on the day that is named after his legacy that we are about serving our community,” said Moore.
KidsPACK sends children in need home from school with backpacks full of food to last through the weekend.
The children are referred to kidsPACK by their schools.
“Last year, we were doing about 1,700 [children]. It has doubled. We are doing 3,700 and it just keeps getting more and more,” said Amy Royal, program manager at kidsPACK.
KidsPACK relies on volunteers, with just four employees on the staff.
The AKA chapter is working to coordinate more volunteer shifts throughout the year.
Anyone wanting to volunteer, visit here.