Local organization feeds 5,000 people while honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va (WAVY) – Volunteers in Newport News honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by giving back to the community Sunday.

The parking lot at the New Beech Grove Baptist Church was full of people as the Feeding 5000 organization once again showed up for those in need, in a big way.

“I thank God for the food they are giving out. I praise God and I hope they continue on doing what they doing, cause I know it’s in the will of God and I praise God for them. I thank God for them,” said Sara Hawkins.

Hawkins was one of the thousands of people who came out to the event in Newport News.

Cars and people lined up in Newport News to get their free meal.

This is the 22nd year Andrew Shannon has organized this effort, but this year, he wanted to make sure they were honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Historically, we’ve done the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. parade and commemorative march but in light of the pandemic, we want to do something that can make a difference with everyone and that’s to serve,” said Andrew Shannon.

Shannon noted that King was a big advocate for serving his community, so he wanted to support that effort.

He said he realizes giving to the community at this time, as we are all living in a pandemic, can make a big difference for people who may have been looking for dinner tonight.

“During a pandemic is needed more so than ever, because people are hurting. The people are in need and there are people in various facets of life and in society where they’ve been hurt by the pandemic, adversely. Economically, some have lost their jobs, some have lost their houses and some have lost their careers. So, just coming together let people know that we care — that’s what this demonstrates,” Shannon said.

Residents like Roxanne Norman say she is happy to see her church and community come together.

She said she is truly grateful.

“We have so much homeless, but not just homelessness, people who are used to working and out of work and need groceries. It’s such an awesome experience to know that somebody somewhere cares. That’s what New Beech Grove [Baptist Church] and the community of Newport News is all about,” she said.

For more information on the Feeding 5000 organization and to check the next event date, click here.

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