Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration to take up issues of hunger, poverty, equality

  • Gloria Matlock and Michael Nix will provide music at All Souls Church on Saturday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. as part of an early celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 1/17/2020 6:30:56 PM
Modified: 1/17/2020 6:30:01 PM

GREENFIELD — Stone Soup Café and The United Arc have teamed up to organize an early celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day set for this weekend.

Kirsten Levitt, executive chef and executive director of Stone Soup Café, said she’s “thrilled to have a weekend in memory of Dr. King.” The pay-what-you-can restaurant will commemorate King’s life and “reflect on his dream for equality and civil rights for all people,” according to a press release about the free events.

Featured in the weekend’s events, which will all be held at All Souls Church at 399 Main St., is a film screening of “We Cried Power,” a documentary about a pastor from Goldsboro, N.C. who sets out across the United States to revive King’s movement to end poverty; music by Gloria Matlock and Michael Nix; and three community meals.

As part of the partnership with The United Arc, volunteers with intellectual and developmental disabilities will work alongside volunteers without disabilities.

The Stone Soup Café will have volunteers prepare, cook and serve meals, the release states. They will also be ambassadors at the concert and film screening, as well as provide setup and cleanup before and after the events.

“People with disabilities are often perceived as the ones always in need of help, but in reality, they also have the desire and ability to help others and to play an active role in strengthening their own communities,” said Juli Moreno of The United Arc. “In the true spirit of Dr. King, the Weekend of Service shines a light on what all people — including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities — can do to love, uplift and support their neighbors.”

Levitt said she hopes the community will come to support one another.

“This weekend is different from any event we do. It’s three meals in two days,” she said. “We hope people come plug in and participate, look at issues of hunger, equality and poverty through a deep lens together as a community.”

Volunteer sign-up links are located online at

Saturday, Jan. 18

■12:30 to 1:30 p.m. — Lunch provided by Stone Soup Cafe

■2 to 4 p.m. — “Shorten the Line: Changing the Story About Hunger”

■4 to 5 p.m. — Resource and networking fair

■5:30 to 7 p.m. — Dinner provided by Stone Soup Cafe

■7:30 to 9 p.m. — “Never Enough,” songs of peace, love and freedom with Gloria Matlock and Michael Nix

Sunday, Jan. 19

■2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. — “We Cried Power,” a Poor People’s Campaign documentary

■3:30 to 5:30 p.m. — Poor People’s Campaign discussion and sing-along meeting

■5:30 to 7 p.m. — Dinner provided by Stone Soup Cafe

Reach Melina Bourdeau at or 413-772-0261, ext. 263.

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