Thousands Pack Meals On National Day Of Service

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Photo credit WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Union Station's Great Hall was transformed Wednesday into the first-ever "Meal Pack of 9/11."

"This is our first year in Chicago," said Ryan Walls, Director of Strategic Partnerships, 9/11 Day.

Scott McFarland, Executive Director, Serve Illinois said Illinois joins six other cities 12,000 volunteers working to pack over two million meals.

There was a moment of prayer, the ringing of bells, a rendition of 'America The Beautiful' and a countdown to a day of service for 1,200 volunteers. Rows and rows of assembly lines were set up beneath a giant American flag. Each volunteer packed up non-perishable meals for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

"This is my first time doing this. I decided to volunteer and there are so many people here, I like it,” she said. "I'm definitely going to come back next year."

Volunteer Scott Schoenknecht, from Decision Technology said his company has always done service days on 9/11.

"By 2021, we hope to mobilize 50 million people across the country in acts of service," Walls said. "Our hope is to make a small impact on the day but also highlight the need for more support of hunger relief in the greater Chicago area as well as around the country.

Executive Director of Serve Illinois, Scott McFarland said "we're here to remember 9/11 and make it into a day of service for generations to come."