On Monday, our nation honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a unique holiday. It’s been called “a day on, not a day off ” and is part of United We Stand, the president’s national service initiative.

The Martin Luther King Day of Service encourages us to strengthen our communities by bridging barriers, creating solutions to social problems, and bringing us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

Contributing to our community’s common good is a fitting celebration of Martin Luther King’s example, and a simple recognition that we are all connected. In fact, Dr. King regarded the great cause for civil rights as just one part of a broader struggle to address poverty and economic injustice.

These are timely concerns as we begin 2012, for whether it’s Brunswick, Maine, Brunswick, Ga., Brunswick, N. Y., or any other town, our communities face greater challenges now than at any time in recent memory.

The greater Brunswick community has a long and proud tradition of leadership in the face of adversity, but with so many people struggling to make ends meet, there is still much need. As community members, and as Democrats who value and share a responsibility to promote the common good, we want to do our part.

That’s why Democrats in Brunswick have organized a nonpartisan opportunity to come together and support the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program at a community pasta supper on Martin Luther King Day. Everyone — young, old, families, friends and neighbors — is invited to bring donations of nonperishable items or make a cash contribution. All contributions will go to MCHPP.

To give young families time to visit with friends and neighbors, free child care and kid-friendly plain pasta will be available. Because this truly is a community nonpartisan event, we’ve expressly reached out to every area political organization to ask for their participation in supporting MCHPP with us. And we are thrilled that our first nonpartisan benefit event is endorsed by NAACP-Portland, and that President- Director Rachel Talbot Ross will offer brief remarks.

The supper will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Pilgrim House, 9 Cleaveland St., Brunswick, near First Parish Church. We welcome cash contributions or nonperishable items to help stock the shelves at MCHPP as the price of admission.

MCHPP particularly requests the following: tuna, peanut butter, baked beans (regular and large), rice (small and medium), canned tomatoes (regular and large), soups (canned and dried), spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, pasta ( all types), Hamburger Helper and Tuna Helper, canned vegetables, canned fruit, instant potatoes, stuffing and personal care products.

The suggested “pay-what-youlike” donation for each adult is $5. Children younger than 10 eat free.

For more information contact Andy Cashman at 751-3974 or go to www.facebook.com/pages/Bruns wick-Democratic-Town-Committee/ 438051465620.

ANDREW CASHMAN of Brunswick is chairman of the Brunswick Democratic Committee.

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