Tag: Forgotten Harvest

The EBONY Foundation Works to Feed Over 650,000 Children and Seniors Weekly During COVID-19 Pandemic, Starts in Detroit

Image of Food Drive (photo via wikipedia.commons.org)

To address the increased need for food assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak amid school closures and social distancing, the EBONY Foundation starting today, wants  community to know “WE GOT YOU” by coordinating the delivery over a million tons of food to community members in need.

This food recovery initiative will start in Detroit serving Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties and the EBONY Foundation seeks to use this model in communities nationwide.

Experts agree that school closures and social distancing will play an important role in limiting the transmission of coronavirus. Families and advocates have concerns about how system-wide closures will impact communities who rely on schools for a range of public services, including providing low-income children with breakfast and lunch, which at times may be the only meal they receive during the day.

The EBONY Foundation has appointed Darryl Anderson of Unique Food Management as the Michigan coalition Chair to coordinate organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Lighthouse, Forgotten Harvest and over dozen food pantries with one common mission – to move over a million tons of food and feed over 650,000 children and seniors weekly during this pandemic. Anderson has over a decade of state and nationwide organizing in food recovery distribution.

National emergencies affect each community differently. For over 75 years the EBONY and JET brand has been at the forefront of championing social justice issues for the Black community. As the quote goes, “When American catches a cold. The Black community catches pneumonia.” Now we have the coronavirus, which has a catastrophic impact on our community, education, economics, and basic health – and EBONY will step up.

“Our families often live in households without food or water at times and now we have this pandemic. Some families rely routinely on food pantries, even in relatively healthy economic times. Some families have no safety nets. school closures would cut off access to some of their only reliable meals. When resources get tight, people without means tend to get squeezed the hardest,” says a spokesperson from the EBONY Foundation.

“The problem is straightforward: Without school, a lot of our communities kids often don’t eat. Close to 30 million children use the National School Lunch Program each year.”

Anderson will be coordinating the EBONY Foundation’s pilot initiative of grab & go breakfast and lunch pickups at the schools as well as negotiating with the school district for school bus deliveries to those that are homebound.

Partnering organizations and schools include: Variety Feeds, Micah 6 Sprout, Baldwin Center, Dream Center, All Saints Church, Pontiac Youth Rec, Meet Up and Eat up, Avondale Elementary and Middle School, and the Waterford Schools.

For more information or to get help coordinating resources in another state, reach out to: wefeedyou@ebonyjet.org and www.ebonyjet.org.

At Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym, Kids Find Athletic and Academic Success

Detroit Downtown Boxing

DETROIT, Mich. — On a cold December day in East Detroit, a dozen kids form a human assembly line stretching across the parking lot of the Downtown Boxing Gym.  With strong arms, the kids grab and push boxes of food from the delivery truck.  “The kids don’t go without a meal,” Coach Khali Sweeney told NBC News. “Forgotten Harvest, the local food bank, they’ll bring food here for ’em, so we have food for the kids to eat healthy.”

According to a 2010 report, more than half of the city’s households with children under 18 receive food assistance from the state.  But that food is just one of the reasons the kids depend on this gym, which is the only building left standing on its city block.

To learn more about the Downtown Boxing Gym, please click here to visit their website. 

It is surrounded by a handful of vacant lots and remnants of abandoned buildings, where the kids sometimes run laps at night.  “It’s not, like, really safe for us to go out there and train,” 19-year-old boxer Anthony Flagg Jr. said.  “But we do it anyway. They say boxing, you’re risking your life.”

For these kids, there are risks both in and out of the ring.  Across train tracks, less than a mile away from the gym, there’s a scene of a different kind: a new Whole Foods grocery– a sign of new life for the struggling city.  “I appreciate and applaud all the efforts goin’ into […] buildin’ the city,” Sweeney said. “But the residents themselves, they’re not gonna see that for a long time, and they’re still suffering. So places like this is a good place for kids to go. ”

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