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Niagara University’s Levesque Institute delivers holiday meals to those in need

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Karen Kwandrans, executive director of Niagara University’s Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement; NU students Joshua Tufino, Makayla D’Albano, Kaylee Brennan and Hannah Enzinna; Rhonda Bivins-Talley, NU IMPACT director; and Jaime Anderson of F-Bites delivered Thanksgiving meals to families in the Niagara Falls City School District. (Photo courtesy of Niagara University)

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY — Niagara University’s Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement and its IMPACT program partnered with several community organizations to distribute turkeys and meals to families in need through its Caring in the Community initiative.

On Nov. 20 and 21, the institute teamed up with NU alumna Nasreen Akhtar, ’07, MAIS ’11, owner of Aero Transportation, to distribute 400 turkeys, sides, and canned goods during the company’s fifth annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway. Students from the university’s Student-Athletes of Color Alliance and ROTC program assisted with the distribution, which took place at the Doris Jones Resource Center and St. John’s AME Church in Niagara Falls.

“Food insecurity has increased steadily since the pandemic,” said Rhonda Bivins-Talley, IMPACT director. “Initiatives such as these provide families with short-term relief in a very meaningful way.” 

The following day, students delivered 150 Thanksgiving meals to families in the Niagara Falls City School District. The food was prepared by F-Bites, an afterschool educational nutrition program designed for students in grades five through 12 that introduces healthier eating habits and practices through hands-on learning, peer support, and guest speakers.

“The Levesque Institute was happy to collaborate with the Niagara Falls City School District and F-Bites to make this happen,” said Karen Kwandrans, executive director of the institute. “Initiatives like these enable our students to live Niagara’s Vincentian mission and see firsthand how their service impacts their community.”

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