LHHS Young Men’s Service League members prep boxes.

Hundreds of volunteers spent September 11 honoring the fallen by packing meals for the North Texas Food Bank. The healthy, non-perishable food packs will be distributed to individuals and families struggling with food insecurity.

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Several Lake Highlands individuals and organizations, including the Young Men’s Service League of Lake Highlands High School, were among the volunteers rolling up their sleeves for North Texas Meal Pack for 9/11 Day, held at Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center. The event was one of eighteen such gatherings organized in cities across the country as part of Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month. September 11 was established as a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2002 by federal law.

“It was a privilege to represent District 10 and the City of Dallas at the kickoff for the 9/11 Day of Service,” said Councilmember Kathy Stewart, who helped Garland’s mayor and city council count down to the start of the event. “I remember that day in 2001 well and grieved with our community and the country for the immeasurable loss suffered by so many. There is absolutely no better way to commemorate the day than to serve the needs of people in our communities.”

Lisa Sides, who serves on the board of Feed Lake Highlands, agreed.

“Volunteering at the 9/11 event appealed to me because it was founded with the goal to ‘rekindle the spirit of unity, service and shared humanity’ that was the feeling of everyone after 9/11. It was meaningful to see people serving others, to support the food bank, to feel the spirit of togetherness, and of course, to honor those affected by 9/11.”

William Tabor is a member of Young Men’s Service League at LHHS, where moms and sons work side-by-side on projects to enhance the community.

“I loved the idea of doing something good and tangible in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11,” said William’s mom, Jenny. “When approached to be a part of Dallas’ Day of Service, I knew our YMSL chapter would have plenty of moms and sons who would like to work together to help the North Texas Food Bank get food to those who need it. While setting up the packing stations and filling them with food, we could reflect on those we were honoring as well as those we were serving.”

According to Feeding America, about 49 million Americans turned to food programs in 2022. About 9 million American children are food insecure each day.

Trisha Cunningham, president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank, expressed gratitude for the sacrifice of the volunteers.

“We could not do what we do in the fight against hunger without the support of the community,” she said. “Because these individuals are willing to give the gift of time in assembling these boxes of food, thousands of neighbors facing hunger in North Texas will have access to nutritious food.”

Steven Heger, Lisa Sides, Sylvia Bodell, Julia Monroe and Kathy Stewart.

Hundreds of volunteers pack the Curtis Culwell Center on 9/11.

LHHS Young Men’s Service League members and moms.

Councilmember Kathy Stewart (in patterned dress), Garland Mayor Scott LeMay (in navy polo) and others kickoff Meal Pack for 9/11 Day.