Hundreds volunteer time at Harvesters for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 7:37 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Today, hundreds of volunteers in the metro honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service by volunteering at Harvesters – The Community Food Network.

“It’s an important day for us, because Dr. King was very invested in helping his fellow neighbors and ensuring that people had equitable access to things that are very basic needs like food,” said Harvesters’ Director of Communications Sarah Biles.

Workers rolled up their sleeves and went to work. Each two-hour shift included one and a half hours of sorting and repackaging food products, and a half-hour service-learning activity.

“Just trying to build that understanding with the kids,” said Symoane Zachary, a volunteer. “Everybody works together in the community. It’s good to take time off and do something outside of ourselves.”

Over 400 volunteers showed up to honor the work of civil rights activist Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“It’s probably our most popular day to come out and volunteer,” said Biles. “Kids are out of school. A lot of people are off work. People call us months in advance to sign up for this day. We had a huge waiting list, as well.”

Biles said hunger is a year-round issue and the food bank is continuing to work to make a difference, just like Dr. King.

“What he believed in and what he spent his life doing is very much in alignment with our mission, which is feeding our neighbors throughout our 26 counties that we serve,” added Biles.

“I’m spending time that I could probably be doing other things, but instead learning and giving to other people,” said volunteer Aidyn Zachary.

More than 34 million people, including 9 million children experience food insecurity in the United States.