International students gathered in the Northampton Community College (NCC) Bethlehem Campus Student Life Zone bright and early on February 20 to make meal bags and kits for those less fortunate at a local soup kitchen. Each Saturday, Trinity’s Ark Community Meal, known as The Ark Soup Kitchen, serves lunch to community members in need. Student, faculty and staff from NCC volunteer their time to contribute to this effort.  

From left to right: Hawa Sumaila, Afi Bedjra, Dewi Sartika, Francis Boroh, Adam Abdul, Khumo Moyane, Oorvi Yarnal, Oktavia Adzani, Lenny Garcia Rojas, Sabdy Ochoa, Tshepo Meko 

Amber Gore, program coordinator for the Center for Global Education & International Services at NCC, helped lead this group of international students who made and served the meal in February. The Community College Initiative (CCI) Program, of which international students at NCC are a part, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. CCI programming provides opportunities for students from other countries to develop leadership capabilities, professional skills, and English language proficiency, while studying at a community college in the United States.  

“Service learning and volunteering is one of the five pillars of the CCI Program, along with academics, cultural exchange, internship, and leadership and action planning,” notes Gore. 

The students, as well as Gore, donated money for the materials used for the that week’s meal. Together, they made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the bags with an orange, chips, and cookies, a well-rounded, nourishing lunch.  

If you are interested in coordinating a group to volunteer at The Ark Soup Kitchen, please contact Amy Sams, program coordinator for the Center for Civic and Community Engagement (CCCE) at