Twenty Eastern Michigan University students packaged and passed out 150 lunches to 40 people at the Salvation Army, 9 S. State Street, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday.
The service was part of a nationwide initiative called Project Downtown.
Each lunch contained a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips, a pastry donated by Panera and a water bottle.
“It’s nice to see younger people coming in because it’s always members of the church volunteering,” said Kat Hegehauer, who works as a teacher in the Salvation Army after-school program. “And it’s just nice to bring in fresh faces.”
Cameron Parsh, an eighth-grader at Lincoln Middle School, was at the after-school program when the students started passing out the lunches. He said that most of the time, people don’t see the good things volunteers are doing in the community.
“I think it’s amazing, giving back to the community,” Parsh said.
Crystal Guenther was eating dinner with five of her eight children.
“I’ve gone to a Christian church of some sort since I was five years old, and to see Muslims in here, serving Christians, that’s beautiful,” Guenther said. “It’s amazing. So today is really special because it kind of gave me a different perspective than I’ve had before.”
Freshman Razan Tanbour, pre-dental student, helped package and pass out the lunches. She said everyone who took the lunches seemed happy.
“I think they didn’t expect it,” Tanbour said. “I guess not too many people go to this area and give out food like that. A lot of people actually came back because they liked what was inside and wanted seconds, so I thought that was pretty cool.”
Sebah Ghannam, a freshman, organized the service.
“I think it was really successful, thank God,” Ghannam said. “I think that next time we should find somewhere that has even more people or go to more than one location.”