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Community members, leaders practice MLK's message of helping others with food drive

MLK food drive.PNG
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jan 18, 2021

HAMPTON, Va. -- The Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “What are you doing for others?”

Residents with organizations and departments from across the Peninsula gathered at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank on Martin Luther King Jr. to practice that message.

They dropped off, received, and sorted through lots of donated food for the Foodbank’s fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Food Drive. All of the food was gathered in a matter of two weeks from January 4 to January 15.

"It's really exciting to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by helping others by having them come and donate food.” Karen Joyner, the executive director of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, said.

Vehicles filled with food pulled into the Foodbank’s receiving dock to drop off the food into carts. The carts would then be hauled into the warehouse where it would be weighed and placed into bins.

Among those helping were Newport News Mayor McKinley Price, members of the Newport News Sheriff’s Office and Police Department. That included Chief Steve Drew who said this was his first time helping out the annual event.

"He talked about it, he preached it, he lived it,” Drew said. “I think there's no better way than to get up and collect food for those in need."

Joyner said the food will go a long way because donations dropped due to the pandemic.

"We've had to purchase a lot more food than we've ever had to,” Joyner explained.

She said the donated food will allow them to continue to serve people in need and will curtail the need to purchase food. A local church also donated $6,300 to the Foodbank.

Later Monday, the Newport News Sheriff's Office told News 3 food and monetary donations, both in person and online, brought in the equivalent of 60,000 meals - more than double any of the previous four years. The drive was busy until it ended at 1 p.m.

When asked how Dr. King would react to the generosity of the donations and action the community took, Joyner replied, “He would just thank the community for their generosity and for thinking of others.”