Area food kitchen continues tradition of service over 50 years later
The MLK Kitchen for the Poor is already preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday.
TOLEDO, Ohio — Food insecurity is an issue all year round, but especially around the holiday season. And one local organization has been committed to serving the less fortunate in our community for over 50 years.
“My dad started this in 1969. He used to tell the story: he had a guy in the back of the house eating out of the garbage cans, back when the garbage was in the alleys and things like that. And so he had invited the guy in and fed him. And at that point, he realized we needed to do something in this city,” explained Harvey Savage Jr., executive director of the MLK Kitchen for the Poor.
The MLK Kitchen for the Poor was founded by Harvey Savage in 1969. And the organization’s legacy lives on through Savage’s son, Harvey Savage Jr.
“From there, we moved eventually to Nebraska,” Savage Jr. said.
And on Vance Street, right off of Nebraska Avenue, is where the kitchen stands today.
“And he started the church here. He had the church here next door,” he added.
The pantry made the move to its current location in 1993. Each and every year, the organization responds to meet the needs of those who just need a little extra support to get by. That remains the case this year, with Thanksgiving only a few days away.
“We have a lot of people that help out. The Buffalo Soldiers came over today and did a donation,” Savage said.
He tells me that he has around 10 reliable volunteers that help on a day-to-day basis. That being said, manpower isn’t exactly his biggest need right now.
“The biggest need is normally turkeys and things like that. People always want turkeys and hams and things like that. So we make sure that we have some, if not enough for the whole community. But we do always have some,” Savage explained.
The kitchen is located at 650 Vance Street. For additional information, you can visit kitchenforthepoor.org.