Hundreds volunteer at Sid Jacobson JCC in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Island Now

On Monday, Jan. 20, more than 200 volunteers joined together in a region-wide day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Sid Jacobson JCC.

Organized by the JCC’s Center for Community Engagement and funded by UJA-Federation, this interactive service opportunity engaged volunteers in a meal packaging event that assembled more than 30,000 meals for distribution to those in need.

“One of the core missions of the Center for Community Engagement is to bridge barriers and actively create solutions to social problems that exist in our world,” said Susan Berman, director of the Sid Jacobson’s JCC Center for Community Engagement. “On MLK day we are having fun while also being mindful that we are addressing heavy social justice issues, including food insecurity, hunger, poverty, and homelessness. It’s amazing to see volunteers come out to work together and use action to bring Dr. King’s dream forward.”

Designed to build community and foster multicultural understanding to move us closer to MLK’s vision, the day included four service projects, the first of which began at 11:15 a.m. with service learning and craft projects.

Following this and a light breakfast, volunteers moved to the gymnasium where they assembled 30,000 meal kits to be distributed worldwide by Rise Against Hunger. After the large-scale meal-packing project was complete, the day concluded with opportunities to create cards for the less fortunate, assemble hygiene and laundry kits, and sort and organize book donations for local distribution by Sid Jacobson JCC’s Food Bank.

Sid Jacobson JCC’s Food Bank is a collection site and distribution center of non-perishable shelf-stable food, personal care and household items for small local food pantries in Nassau County. The SJJCC Food Bank serves as a dedicated vocational training facility for young adults with special needs.

This year’s partner, Rise Against Hunger, is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable, mobilizing the necessary resources to end hunger by 2030.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities and ways to give back to the community, please visit or contact Susan Berman, Director of the Center for Community Engagement at or 516.484.1545 ext. 202.

Submitted by the Sid Jacobson JCC

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