Granville community supports a day on, not a day off


Anna Minton


Many people see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as simply another day off. They see it as a day of rest that breaks up the long bleary month of January, and allows us to take a mindless repose. It would be tough to argue that this approach is not appealing; however, not all citizens in Granville view the King Holiday in a similar light. Such people are the founders of the Feed the Dream Food Drive, and

In January of 2011, started a food drive in honor of Dr. King and his commitment to service. This food drive is now held annually on the King Holiday, and over the past 4 years has “gathered enough food and funds to provide the Food Pantry Network of Licking County with nearly 200 tons of food,” according the Feed the Dream website.

All proceeds collected during the food drive go directly to the Food Pantry Network of Licking County [FPN], where the donations are put to good use. “Unfortunately, the challenge of hunger has not diminished”, said Chuck Moore, executive director of FPN. “The Granville King Holiday Food Drive is a tremendous help to us as we work to meet the needs of Licking County”.

According to FPN, 36% of the households served include children and 33% include senior citizens. In Licking County alone, 6,700 children are not sure where their next meal is coming from. However, the Food Pantry Network is able to help by serving 40,000+ meals per month to children. has a goal of not only supplying food to hungry people, but for supporting service within our community.  “Ever since Ronald Reagan in 1982 signed into law this day of remembrance, its proponents have wanted King’s day to be different, not just another day off from work and school, but a ‘Day On’,” says Dr. Tom Wortham, one of the Feed the Dream committee members. Wortham describes the holiday as “an opportunity for all of us to look at our communities and see what can be done to better our common lives.”

“This is truly a community action program”, say Rob Cathcart, co-founder of “Our objective is to use the occasion of the King Holiday to mobilize our community, especially our young people, to take time to help those in need”.

While some citizens still cherish the idea of a “day off” in January, many people have answered Dr. King’s call to service. With more than 400 volunteers supporting last year’s food drive, “It’s clear that in Granville, Ohio Dr. King’s message of peace, nonviolence and service has resonated with the entire community,” according to a press release sent out by . Even people outside of Granville have recognized the community’s efforts to help those in need.

Reverend Bernice King, Dr. King’s youngest daughter and CEO of the King Center, recently wrote a letter to the organization, and all of Granville. In this letter, she wrote that, “My mother, Coretta Scott King once said that ‘The true greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate acts of its citizens.’ By that standard, it’s clear that Granville, Ohio must surely be a great community, and I commend all of the people and organizations who are working together to make it a reality.”

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve”. By helping those in need and promoting others to serve those in their community, has surely honored Dr. King’s commitment to service, and have truly turned this holiday into a “day on”, rather than a “day off”.