ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (PIX11) – From Montgomery, Alabama, to Englewood, New Jersey, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory remained as present as ever, especially to Theodora Lacey.

“I knew him as a family member,” said Lacey, 91, who got to know Dr. King through her father’s church in her hometown of Montgomery.

At Community Baptist Church of Englewood, not far from where she lives, Lacey spoke to hundreds who came to volunteer, including Gov. Phil Murphy. As volunteers prepped snack packs, Lacey shared stories of the Dr. King she knew.

“He was so charismatic that people may have thought that he was aggressive and verbose, but he really wasn’t,” Lacey said. “He was very humble and always seeking to do something to help someone else.”

Religious leaders said Monday is a day off for many, but it’s really a day to use your voice and your actions to serve your community.

“I saw a quote that said, ‘Martin Luther King’s Day is not a day off, it is a day on,'” Senior Pastor of Community Baptist Church of Englewood Rev. Dr. Lester W. Taylor said. “We are here because are on today. We are on task, we’re on duty.”

Leaders said around 100,000 people in Bergen County don’t have access to adequate nutrition and it could be a decade before the area returns to pre-pandemic hunger statistics.

Leaders said it doesn’t matter how you serve, just that you serve something important to you.

“If it means something to you to address the significant childhood hunger issue, that’s why you’re here today,” Center for Food Action President Dr. Menen Mathias-Fredericks said.