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Phoenix-area volunteers honor Martin Luther King Jr. by helping kids in need

(KTAR Photo/Cooper Rummell)

PHOENIX — Even though most people take the holiday to rest and relax, volunteers in the metro Phoenix-area honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service Monday by packing bags of food for children in need.

Several dozen people gathered to help Valley of the Sun United Way assemble non-perishable meals for students who attend schools in low-income neighborhoods.

“We invited everybody to come and enjoy this day and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by assembling weekend hunger backpacks to ensure that children have enough food,” Francisco Avalos with the Valley of the Sun United Way said.

Member of the non-profit organization set a goal of assembling at least 2,600 bags for the WeekEnd Hunger Backpack Program.

The food bags provide weekend snacks and meals to help students return to school Monday ready to learn rather than hungry and weak.

“Dr. King asked us and he challenged us to make it a day on and not a day off to honor his legacy,” Avalos said. “He did so much for our community and for the movement of social justice and we believe that feeding folks is a social justice.”

Of the 82,000 households in Maricopa County that experience chronic hunger, nearly 50 percent include children.

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