HUNTS POINT — Although Bronx resident Justina Sharrock frequently works with kids through her job as a program coordinator at the youth baseball nonprofit Harlem RBI, she said she is still always on the lookout for more opportunities to help serve her community.
"I work with youth on a regular basis," she said, "but I still feel like I don’t do enough, and so volunteering and doing service projects every now and then fills that void."
This attitude brought Sharrock to the Food Bank For New York City's warehouse in Hunts Point on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, where she was one of many people who volunteered to spend part of the holiday sorting, organizing and repacking food with the organization.
"You’re not doing it to get something from it, physically," she said. "It just feels good."
Sharrock also praised the event as a great way to help members of Harlem RBI connect with each other and as a great way to honor King's overarching goal of achieving equality.
"This really brings us all to the same level," she said. "We're helping people who weren't necessarily given the same opportunities we were."
The Food Bank's event took place in the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, where food items were organized into boxes that the organization will send out to its networks of soup kitchens and food pantries, which will then distribute them to families in need.
Lisa Hines-Johnson, chief operating officer of the Food Bank, described the event as a fitting tribute to King, given the importance he placed throughout his life on serving the public.
"Dr. King talked a lot about service," she said, "So we've created opportunities across the five boroughs for people to serve and honor his legacy."
Kevin Butcher, a 23-year-old volunteer, agreed that the event was a strong way to pay tribute to King, particularly his commitment to helping others.
"He was helping people, so I guess that's why people do things like this on Martin Luther King Day: to help other people," Butcher said, "whether it's ending slavery or packing food."