MLK Kitchen for the Poor’s 55th Anniversary Celebration

Paul J Gibbs, Jeff Lydy, Fred LeFebvre, Lorinda McCalebb, Earl Mack

By Angie Hayes
The Truth Reporter

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Kitchen for The Poor held a Spring Gala event on May 4, 2024, at The Pinnacle in Maumee. The MLK Kitchen for The Poor was founded and established by Reverend H.V. and Martha Savage and continues today under the leadership of Harvey Savage, Jr. The mission is: We offer hope and acceptance to those in need, keeping in mind the dignity of all persons.

The event was for the celebration of their 55 years of supporting the Toledo community. MLK Kitchen For The Poor has been feeding hungry people in the inner city with love, compassion and respect since 1969.

The beginning of the fun time event was hosted by Alexis Means of abc13. A singer and the music filled the dining room. The following activities and events were a great time, for all participants and attendees present for the celebration time for MLK Kitchen for The Poor.

A very informational and supportive “welcome” discussion was the first step of the evening activities. The next steps provided a clear understanding of the benefits of MLK Kitchen for The Poor and a clear understanding of the potential of the attendees to offer support to the organization.

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and Harvey Savage, Jr.

The evening’s Meet and Greet was followed by an acknowledgement of the dignitaries present and the opening prayer, after which dinner was served. Specific details and acknowledgement of the positive impact of MLK Kitchen for The Poor was provided for all attendees to understand the activities and the contribution to the community.

In addition to information about the history of the organization, a 5-year plan was also unveiled. A silent auction, dancing and socializing provided attendees an opportunity to enjoy themselves during the anniversary celebration.

Attendees earned that during the year of 2023, MLK Kitchen for The Poor served 30,078 meals and also provided 3,026 food boxes to those in need.

“In 1969, a man was eating out of the garbage can in the back of our house, and that’s when the city would come down the alley to get the garbage,” said John Savage, board member. “It disturbed my father, to see someone eating out of the garbage can. He didn’t know Toledo had a hunger problem. But that was God’s vision, so God gave him the vision from that moment, to start the kitchen….MLK Center! Martin Luther King Center became a huge community blessing!”

State Representative Elgin Rogers was present and active in the celebration of the MLK Kitchen For The Poor and made the following statement: “When you feed people, you know it’s love. Celebration for the Kitchen’s 55th anniversary, Indeed this is impressive and outstanding for Ohio. We are here to celebrate, but we are here to donate! I’m grateful for what they do for the neighborhoods. God Bless You All!”

The following information and details of the MLK Kitchen for The Poor community pillars was provided to all in attendance, in written statements:

“We are Welcoming to anyone who walks through our doors. We serve over 200 people each day and always ready to lend a hand, listen and serve.”

“We are Respectful and know the people we serve have dignity and pride. We honor them, and we are honored to serve them. If they want to talk, we listen.”

“We are Community and proud to know that people consider us a part of their extended families. The kitchen is a family whose members watch out for one another.”

“We are Necessary, and we’d like to believe a day will come when there would be no need for us. Until that day, we do what we feel called to do, and that is to feed the hungry.”