MLK food drive brings out thousands in St. Louis

Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 5:40 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The line of cars stretched over a mile long on Monday afternoon with thousands waiting for food from the Urban League of St. Louis annual food drive.

The Urban League teamed up with the St. Louis-Area Foodbank to pass out over 100,000 tons of food.

“To see young and old, black and white, rich and poor, to see everybody in the entire community come before a common cause to celebrate one of the greatest leaders this world has ever known,” said Michael McMillan, President and CEO of the Urban League of St. Louis.

After spending money on Christmas presents and her kid’s birthday, Virginia Brown needed a chance to catch up.

“My daughter turned four on the 5th, my sister’s birthday is coming up next month, it doesn’t stop for me,” said Brown.

Others, including Karen Robinson, are taking this food and giving it right back out to the needy.

“I bless other people with the food that I get not just here but the pantries and feeding people up and down the blocks I live in.”

McMillan said they’re following Dr. Martin Luther King’s lead of taking action to make change.

“Do not just talk about doing something but actually get out there and do something to bring about change and do it on a consistent basis,” said McMillan.

Ama Aningo wanted to make a difference on MLK Day so badly he took off work and brought his son to help volunteer.

“I brought my senior in high school to try and take a moment to appreciate what we have and help folks that we can,” said Aningo.

Each car was given about two weeks worth of food, including a turkey, canned goods and dairy products. In total it cost around $200,000, which takes an army of volunteers to hand out.

Every volunteer essentially worked on an assembly line, and many were there just to keep the cars moving. While it was important work, volunteers could be seen laughing, joking and even dancing to Footloose.

“I know they’re going to go back to share the love and the laughter they have today,” said volunteer Brian Barbee, who came from Kansas City to volunteer.