Major food donation made as Barry puts a damper on Delta Sigma Theta convention

Tropical Storm Barry may have caused the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to cut short its national convention in New Orleans, but there is one big benefit.

Food. Lots of it.

Meals purchased by the sorority from Centerplate, a food service business, have been donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank and will be delivered to victims of Tropical Storm Barry, first responders and others affected by the bad weather.

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“While we had to make a quick decision on closing a convention that was going well, I know it was the right thing to do for the welfare of our members and guests,” said Beverly E. Smith, national president and CEO, in a statement. “As a service-based organization, I am glad the food we purchased to handle our 17,000 attendees won’t go to waste. I am delighted that Centerplate will be able get those meals to others in need. If we can help serve someone with meals as they go through their personal storms, then our work and purpose is still being fulfilled.”

Smith is a member of the Marietta-Roswell alumnae chapter and the retired assistant commissioner and director for adult education and GED testing through the Technical College System of Georgia.

Many members left early, but others stayed either because they couldn’t book flights out or they decide to tough it out.

They have kept their sisterhood informed on social media and several posted plans to have tropical storm gatherings in their hotels, offers to help members leave the city or to donate belongings to those in the city who might need them.

The predominately black sorority was founded in January 1913 at Howard University.

Since its inception,  more than 200,000 women have joined the organization. Delta Sigma Theta has  collegiate and alumnae chapters throughout the United States and in Japan, England, Germany, Bermuda and South Korea.