Martin Luther King Junior Day: “A day on, not a day off.” And what a day on it was! Yesterday, for Met Council’s MLK Day of Service, almost two hundred volunteers distributed twenty thousand brochures across New York City in order to raise awareness about the food benefit programs available to New Yorkers in need and to debunk some of the common misconceptions and stigmas related to them.
Volunteers gathered together at 80 Maiden Lane in the morning to learn about the details on SNAP food benefits and poverty that they would need to communicate to business owners and people on the street as they distributed materials. They learned about the most common misconceptions about the food program. Many people, for example, think that they are not eligible if they own a car, or are immigrants. Upon reflection after the event, one volunteer remarked that he was surprised at all of the assumptions that people made around the program and glad that he was able to become more informed so that he could talk to them and clear up confusion.