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Evangel partners with area colleges for Meals a Million

September 9, 2012 | Chase Replogle

The leaders of the five Springfield-area colleges and universities stood in front of a banner reading “Together We Can Do More,” to announce their collaboration on two major projects — one academic and one service-oriented — on Monday, September 17, 2012. The press conference was held at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Evangel University is joining with Drury, Missouri State, Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) and Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, for the betterment of our students and our community,” said Paul K. Logsdon, spokesman for Evangel.

Meals a Million

Forty-three members of Evangel’s baseball team worked with Friends Against Hunger last winter to package meals that will go around the world. The men look forward to returning to work along side students from other area colleges in November.

“First was an agreement regarding creation of a Foreign Languages Institute (see story), and second was the disclosure of plans to work together on an annual community service project,” he said. “This year that project will be Meals a Million, in November, sponsored by Friends Against Hunger.”

Four presidents/chancellors were present at the announcement: EU President Robert H. Spence, MSU President Clifton M. Smart III, OTC Chancellor Hal L. Higdon and SBU President C. Pat Taylor. DU President Todd Parnell was represented by Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president for academic affairs.

Schools to pool volunteer resources

This year’s project is to provide more than 1,000 volunteers for Meals a Million, a three-day event to package 1,111,111 meals for impoverished people, from November 9-11 at the Springfield Expo Center.

“We are pleased to be able to join forces with the other colleges in the area and collaborate on this project,” said President Spence. “We anticipate a strong turnout from our students and plan to make this an annual event.”

According to Friends Against Hunger, which sponsors Meals a Million, each meal is a vegetarian recipe that provides a rich source of easily digestible proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins with nine essential amino acids.

Springfield college presidents

Leaders of the five colleges present at the announcement were (from left): OTC Chancellor Hal L. Higdon, Drury Dean Charles Taylor, MSU President Clifton M. Smart III, SBU President C. Pat Taylor, and EU President Robert H. Spence.

The combination was developed by food scientists to help the undernourished recover from malnutrition. The meals are intentionally easy to prepare, requiring only the ability to boil water. They will be distributed both domestically and internationally through nongovernmental organizations.

“I’m encouraged and optimistic about the future when I see all of our institutions coming together for the benefit of our students and the community,” said Drury President Todd Parnell in a prepared statement. “Meals a Million and the Foreign Languages Institute are just the latest examples of how the Ozarks’ robust and diverse higher education community is an asset to our region.”

Dr. C. Pat Taylor added, “SBU students are excited to be involved with Meals a Million. This type of project teaches students that they can make a difference and meet needs in our community.”

College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri, will also be participating in the Meals a Million project.

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