MLK Day of Service 2019: Ending Food Insecurity in Columbus, Ohio

By Ian Haynes, City Impact Manager

In Columbus, Ohio, veterans and dedicated community members are on a mission to end food insecurity on the Southside. On January 26, 2019, the Columbus 1st Service Platoon continued this effort while honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service. As Dr. King emphasized, “Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

One year ago the Columbus 1st Platoon held their first service project on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This year, the project was their largest to-date, and for the 45 participants (42 adults and 3 youth), including 26 veterans, it was a great opportunity to embody the values of Love and Selflessness that Dr. King lived daily.

“From the moment they enter a space, the amazing volunteers with The Mission Continues radiate sincere concern for the welfare of others. They wrap every project in compassion, generosity and kindness, contributing whatever they can to enhance and advance the work of non-profit organizations like ours. Their selflessness, boundless energy, patience and hard work are leaving a mark on Community Kitchen, Inc.” 

Allison Glasgow, CEO of Community Kitchen, Inc.

Supporting our Partners

The project supported three organizations in their work to connect hungry residents with access to nutritious food. It was an opportunity for the platoon continue their service work with Holy Rosary & St. John Food Pantry and Community Kitchen, Inc and to begin their work with a new mission partner, Lutheran Social Services at their Champion Pantry. The projects at all three locations were geared toward creating a safe, healthy and welcoming environment for Southside residents.

“This was a great opportunity to partner with another veterans service organization and serve our community together. It was a fine example of what can be accomplished by groups championing shared causes, working together to create resources for each other and for our fellow men and women of Central Ohio.” 

Moyo Mitchell, Columbus 1st Leadership Team Member and Southside resident

Connecting Veterans

As an organization, The Mission Continues is constantly striving to connect veterans with their community and other veterans. This MLK Day, the Columbus 1st Platoon served alongside veterans and their family members from Wounded Warrior Project and were honored with the opportunity to share a meal with them at the conclusion of the project. It was amazing to watch veterans and community members connect with each other, especially since we had so many first-time volunteers!


By the Numbers

Total Volunteers: 45

-Veterans: 26

-Youth: 3

-Wounded Warrior Project: 13

-First-Time Volunteers: 29

Total Volunteer Hours: 225

Estimated Value of Community Impact: $5,500*

*based on the Independent Sector Value of Volunteer Time of $24.69 Per Hour for 2018


Overall, Rolando Flores, Columbus 1st Leadership Team Member and Southside resident put it best when he said, “I felt the event was so rewarding, it made me feel like I was really making a difference in my community.”

Charlie Mike!