January 15, 2014

The nation will pause to reflect and remember the legacy and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20. To honor his memory, his birthday is now commemorated as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Each year millions of Americans across the country come together on this day to serve their neighbor s and communities.

Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger relief organization, is asking people to consider volunteering at a local food bank, food pantry or soup kitchen to honor the holiday this year. Feeding America is a network of 203 food banks that provide food and groceries to 37 million Americans each year.

Dr. King once said, in a challenge to our nation, "Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?"

"The USDA reports that 49 million Americans are food insecure, including 16 million children. Our economy continues to be troubled, and many Americans are out of work. Our state and federal governments face enormous budget shortfalls, and there is concern that there will be significant cuts to SNAP [food stamp] benefits," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America.

"Everyone can do something to help their neighbors who live at risk of hunger – whether it is sorting food, packing boxes, or serving a meal at a soup kitchen. We particularly want to encourage children to volunteer on this national holiday, when most schools will be closed. It is important for our country's future leaders to learn about the 16 million other children who live at risk of hunger in our nation and the role Feeding America plays in helping them. Feeding America believes that together, we can solve hunger." said Aiken.

To find volunteer opportunities in your community, visit: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/


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