Franklin & Marshall College students hosted the residents of area homeless shelters during the semi-annual Community Outreach Dinner on Saturday, March 7.
The dinner was sponsored by the Bonchek College House. Students served and entertained residents of local homeless shelters, including The Milagro House, Water Street Rescue Mission, YWCA, Domestic Violence Services, Crispus Attucks and The Clare House.
Students donated unused portions of their dining plans to cover the cost of feeding 200 homeless people from the Lancaster community, about 50 of whom are children.
“This is an opportunity for students to get involved in the life of the city,” said Molly Norton ’11, who, along with Adriana Lara ’11 and Alanna Skydell ’11, organized this semester’s event.
The dinner is held twice a year. Approximately 150 students donate meals, and 40 volunteers serve the banquet and provide entertainment. The Chessmen, F&M’s male a cappella singing group, sang for the dinner guests.
The event was started four years ago by Ian Lubetkin ’09 and Rob Fleisher ’09, who realized that their prepaid, unused meals from their student dining plans would not carry over to the next semester. Instead of wasting those meals, they asked College officials if they could donate the cost and translate it into a banquet.
An event like this helps Bonchek College House students understand some of the economic challenges facing local residents, Norton added.