KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of people spent the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday volunteering their time at Harvesters in Kansas City, Missouri.
"It's MLK Day obviously, so it's a day on, not a day off. It's a national day of service," Americorp member Brianna Green said.
The day of service at Harvesters consisted of five shifts, with 50 volunteers in each shift. They spent two hours sorting and packing food for people in need in Kansas and Missouri.
Long-time volunteer Robin Woods has dedicated her time to Harvesters for 25 years.
"This has just always touched my heart," Woods said.
Woods spent her shift on Monday showing first-time volunteer Annie Hanson the ropes in the warehouse.
"I love Kansas City, I love everything about it, so the fact that I can do just a little bit to make a difference for at least one other person, it gets me a little choked up, it's a really good feeling," Hanson said.
Harvesters has over 760 partner agencies across a 26-county region. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, those agencies have seen a 40% increase in households in need of food. The number of volunteers has also decreased in the same time frame.
"Unfortunately, I feel that we've lost some volunteers during the pandemic, which I understand because people are worried about catching it, but there is a constant need for volunteers to come in and help us," Green said.
Harvesters provides information on volunteer opportunities on the organization's website.