MLK Kitchen for the Poor hosts annual celebration, march

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Some of the people behind the scenes who helped the day go smoothly by preparing 400 dinners.

BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer

Since the early 1970s, the Martin Luther King Kitchen for the Poor has held annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations, when no other organization in Toledo was hosting one, recalls John Savage, board member. It was started by his father, the late Rev. Harvey Savage.

Some of the people behind the scenes who helped the day go smoothly by preparing 400 dinners.
Some of the people behind the scenes who helped the day go smoothly by preparing 400 dinners.

On Monday, January 15, the tradition was continued on the site of the Kitchen for the Poor, 650 Vance St.

The event began with a service in the church conducted by Pastor Otis Gordon of Warren AME Church, entitled, “God is neither a republican, nor a democrat, but He’s political.”

Darryl Gover, and his daughter, D’Asia, lead the march around Savage Park. Both said it was an honor to be a part of the celebration.
Darryl Gover, and his daughter, D’Asia, lead the march around Savage Park. Both said it was an honor to be a part of the celebration.

After the service, those in attendance would march around City Park, then file into the Kitchen for the Poor for lunch.

“The march around the park symbolizes what Dr. King, and others who marched with him, have done for social justice, and freedom,” Mr. Savage said.

Darryl Gover has been participating in the celebration for over 40 years, and he and his daughter, D’Asia, lead the march.

“To participate in the Dr. King celebration, and to lead the march carrying the flag is like an honor, and a privilege,” he said.

“I’ve been participating in the celebration, and the march since I was four years old,” said D’Asia, who is 16. “I feel honored to be a part of the celebration,” she said.

Henrietta Savage-Armstrong, daughter of the late, Rev. Harvey Savage, and head cook and supervisor at the Kitchen for the Poor said they prepared 400 meals, which consisted of turkey, dressing, green beans, potato salad, and desert. She recalls her father holding the celebration, as well as the march, no matter how cold, or the temperature.

“Sometimes, it would be below zero and we would march. I really believe him having us hold the celebration, and the march has made me a better person,” she said.

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