LIFESTYLE

Goya, Catholic Charities honor Martin Luther King Jr. with food donations: ‘It’s in our DNA’

  • Chasi Annexy, 2014

     (Chasi Annexy, 2014)

  • Chasi Annexy, 2014

     (Chasi Annexy, 2014)

Goya Foods is honoring the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. with a service project that will provide more than 300,000 pounds of food throughout New York and around the country.

The Hispanic food company teamed up with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York to pack, re-stock and prepare bags for a vast network of food pantries and emergency food programs.

“It’s kind of in our DNA,” Bob Unanue, CEO of Goya Foods, told Fox News Latino on Monday. “It’s about fulfilling a need.”

Goya is also sending food to families across the country that have taken in unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the southern border last year.

“These children are often sent by themselves. They are caught up in the political issues of immigration and it’s not their fault,” Unanue said. “We are sending food to the families that have taken them in.”

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Monsignor Kevin Sullivan told Fox News Latino that Goya Foods was adamant they wanted to help these families and, through their Catholic charity networks, they were able to identify locations in Miami, Texas and California.

“Today the nation is honoring Martin Luther King. His work for social justice is an incredible legacy and with this project we are recognizing his legacy and recommitting to it,” he said.

The months after the holidays are the toughest for the country’s food pantries, which are spread thin. Sullivan said the donations will expand throughout the year.

Unanue said it’s incredibly significant to honor King on his birthday with a service project that brings people together.

“We are called to give service and give back…” he said. “We are blessed and there is a responsibility to give back. And there is no better day than on Martin Luther King Day.”

“We hope this brings our country together as brothers and sisters,” Unanue continued.

It was a sentiment that Sullivan echoed.

“Unfortunately, we have to just look in the media to see that we have tension (around the world),” Sullivan said. “This project is an opportunity to bridge gaps.”

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Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com.

Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang