SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Whatever affects us directly, affects us all indirectly – and that’s the message of Thanksgiving Point as communities come together on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to raise awareness of a unfortunate hunger crisis in Utah schools.
On Monday, Thanksgiving Point set a goal of assembling 4,000 snack packets with the help of parents and children here today to assemble food bags to distribute to students in the Granite School District.
“We just like the idea of service day and giving a quick service time,” says a parent ABC4 spoke to while putting together snack kits with his son.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, many days off and school, but for some families they take minutes before spending time at the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point to help feed hungry students.
The initiative invites people from the community to help put together snacks for students in the Granite School District. Amberlyn Johnson, manager of the Signature Experience at Thanksgiving Point, said being a former teacher and seeing the need of some of her own students inspired her to help lead the project.
“Knowing that there are so many ways to help here, we’re such a great foundation that focuses on education and children,” Johnson says.
Granite School District officials say about 65% of their student population simply does not have enough to eat on a daily basis.
“For many of them, they are food insecure, which means they don’t always know where their next meal will come from,” says Kim Oborn of the Granite Education Foundation.
The snack kits are with what officials call a “pickup” for the Granite School District pantry program to distribute to students in need.
The Granite School District says food insecurity is a problem in many of its schools, from elementary through high school.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022 marks the 27thand year as a day of service to honor the life and legacy of what the iconic leader stood for by preaching love for one another regardless of race, gender or origin.
Amberlyn Johnson says: “In preparation for this year’s event, I read his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and love how he talks about children in it.
Johnson adds that she thinks this type of service is something Dr. King would have supported to ensure children have the right nutrition needed to thrive in the classroom.
Thanksgiving Point says this while they started the event in 2020 before COVID, the festivities in 2021 have been halted as a precaution. But they say they plan to hold it every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.