We Celebrate Our History Makers!
By Interfaith Gazette Staff
As we celebrate Black History Month, we would like to celebrate two significant people in the history of the Toledo Community who did make history. John (Jack) Marshal Ford, the First African American Mayor of the City of Toledo, who served from 2002 – 2006, and Rev. Harvey V. Savage, Sr., Founder of the M L K Kitchen For the Poor in 1969. As we think on the contributions of these great men, we celebrate each history maker in our city who enhanced and continues to enrich our lives. WE CELEBRATE YOU!
By the IFG Staff
What can be said about an institution that has been caring for families since 1969? That they care no matter what! When Rev. Harvey V. Savage, Sr. shared the story with Board members many, many years ago, it would change the face of how people in this community saw hunger, homelessness, and destitution. Rev. Harvey Savage, Jr., the Executive Director of The MLK Kitchen For The Poor, shares his present insights on how the mission at The Kitchen, continues to live on. He is determined to let his father's dream and vision in fighting hunger in this community, make a mark and impression in the hearts and minds of others who have no clue of what it is like to be hungry, so that they would understand the plight of those who are, daily.
Mr. Savage attributes the success of the Kitchen with that of having so many partners in and around Northwest Ohio, who seem to really “get it”!. His commitment to the mission of the Kitchen has touted the improvements in the operation ranging from financial stability to individuals who walk in from the streets with turkeys that they just want to donate. The Kitchen does have partners who have been committed for a number of years. They seem to really show support during the holidays.
He does give shout outs to the following partners who make it possible for the recipients of the hearty meals to eat daily, wholesome, healthy. They are: Unions, Fiat Chrysler, Zion Mennonite Church & Mr. John Rich, Cornerstone Church, Trinity Faith Tabernacle, The Blue Gill Fishing Club, and Pastor Talmadge Thomas and the Mt. Zion, City of Zion Church. He speaks highly of the support that these entities have provided the Kitchen down through the years, especially for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, where baskets, and at least 150 toys, and bicycles have been favorites down through the years. Director Savage says that their commitment to stay in touch with the times of the participants at the Kitchen, has allowed them to make some leaps of faith.
MLK Kitchen has several plans for the future. They have on the to do list A Community Center to be built in the next 2 years so that they are able to provide more extensive programs that will enhance the quality of life for attendees. He wants to provide more educational opportunities, life skills programs, health and wellness and more, that are needed to meet the needs of the participants.
The Kitchen received the Robert Brundidge Humanitarian Award in 2013 and is Better Business Bureau accredited. They have served more than 30,000 meals to date. They also provide Baskets to families during the 2nd half of the month from their Food Pantry. Presently, the Outreach services that the Kitchen provides include a Prevention Health By Choice Program, designed to assist persons with hypertension and diabetes, as well as meals to the Friendly Center for residents in the North End.
The MLK Kitchen for The Poor does accept donations through its official website, www.kitchenforthepoor.org as well as receives support through Community Shares.
Director Savage, whose roots sprang from the rich state of ALABAMA,makes no apology for saying that it is something in the Alabamians who seem to keep on giving and giving no matter what. Shout out to the ALABAMA natives. Let's keep the dream and the vision of his father, Rev. H. V. Savage, Sr. alive!