By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is gearing up for the annual Martin Luther King Day of Service later this month.

Todd Bernstein president of Global Citizen and the founder and director of the Philadelphia event, says for the ninth straight year, Girard College will serve as the hub of activity on MLK Day, January 15.

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“In 12 days, we are expecting some 150,000 volunteers to serve in more than 1,800 projects throughout the region,” he said. “Workshops, service projects, a kids carnival, trainings, a health and wellness fair, a civic engagement expo, because we want the energy of that day to translate not just into a day of volunteering but a lifetime of service.”

Bernstein says among the major initiatives – tackling hunger.

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“Mayor Kenney will be leading us here in a series of projects around food justice,” he said, “sorting and packing food that will be distributed particularly through share food program to hundreds of nonprofits throughout the Philadelphia area.”

Kenney says the example of Dr. Martin Luther King is a good one to imitate.

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“As long as we respect each other for being children of God, and treat each other that way, this city will survive and other cities will survive and states will survive and this country will survive,” the mayor said.