COLUMBIA - Residents of Columbia gathered at St. Luke United Methodist Church Monday for Almeta Crayton's "Poor Man's Breakfast," an event she and volunteers host every year on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day.
People from all walks of life lined up in the church's fellowship hall at 8 a.m. for a plate of bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits and fruit. "This is one of the few times people from the community get together to eat a meal," Mizzou student Desmon Turner said. Turner is a part of Mizzou's Black Men Initiative, a group which has volunteered at the breakfast for the past four years. "I think since the breakfast is free it really pays tribute to Dr. King's spirit and what he stood for," Turner said.
Women from the local graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority also volunteered at the event. Many helped prepare food. Chapter president Linda Garth said members have been helping out since Crayton created the event. "We are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Day through a day of service," Garth said. "We want to call attention to making a difference in the community, and this is our way of uniting with Dr. King and his legacy."
Guests filled the fellowship hall with laughs and friendly conversation, many gathered around a small TV in the corner to watch President Barack Obama's inauguration. "It's so ironic that the inauguration fell on the same day as Martin Luther King Day," Crayton said. "That makes this day even more special. Dr. King worked hard to help the little people, and that's what we're doing today, helping the little people."
The breakfast catered to less fortunate people in the community, but anyone was welcome to attend. Crayton said she has been hosting this event for the past 20 years, and plans to continue helping the less fortunate in the future.