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Kaiser Permanente Honors Martin Luther King Jr. with 'Day of Volunteerism'

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For the eighth consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente San Diego physicians and staff will honor civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by volunteering their time and services at three community organizations throughout San Diego County.

On Monday, Jan. 16, more than 120 Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians will turn out to sort food, pick up trash, paint, spruce up buildings and landscape facilities.

"Given our current economic climate, Dr. King's vision of service is more critical than ever," said Mary Ann Barnes, senior vice president and executive director for Kaiser Permanente San Diego. "Healthy communities and a healthy environment go hand in hand with individual health and wellness. MLK Day of Service is a great opportunity to meet the critical needs of San Diego and advance Dr. King's dream of opportunity for everyone."

This year, Kaiser Permanente San Diego will be committing time, resources, and talent to volunteer projects at the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, South Bay Community Services in Chula Vista and the Center for Community Solutions in Escondido.

At the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff will be inspecting, sorting, and bagging food received during the Food Bank's Holiday Food Drive, which raised more than 600,000 pounds of food.

"We are very grateful to the volunteers from Kaiser Permanente for helping us at this critical time," Food Bank CEO "Scody" Hage said. "We collected tons of food over the holiday season which needs to be inspected and sorted so that we can get it out to the community. Kaiser Permanente is an outstanding supporter of the Food Bank, and their staff is always ready to lend a helping hand."

At South Bay Community Services, Kaiser Permanente volunteers will spruce up Trolley Trestle, a space that provides transitional housing and support for children aging out of the foster care system.

"The upcoming MLK Day of Service is an opportunity for our organization to collaborate with passionate community members and demonstrate, through actions, the impact that can be had through partnership. We are honored and excited to be working with Kaiser Permanente," said Kathryn Lembo, CEO of South Bay Community Services.

Kaiser Permanente staff will also renovate the Hidden Valley House Shelter which serves victims of domestic violence through the Center for Community Solutions, a nonprofit organization focused on the prevention and intervention of sexual assault, relationship violence and elder abuse.

The volunteer projects will be held on Monday, Jan. 16. Time and locations are:

* Jacbos & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, 9850 Distribution Avenue , 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* Center for Community Solutions 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

* South Bay Community Services, 746 Ada Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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