BLOOMINGTON — Young NAACP members in Bloomington-Normal stepped up their efforts Saturday to feed the community.
The Bloomington-Normal NAACP Branch Youth Council, which was founded in August, donated turkeys, stuffing, vegetables and pies to about 50 families within the Bloomington Housing Authority. The event took place Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club in Bloomington-Normal.
Youth Council President Bradley Ross Jackson said ahead of the event that they were delighted to give back, adding that it’s “especially what we need now in this time of a pandemic”.
He said the food purchases were supported by grants from YICU and Amazon.
“All of the families are extremely excited about this opportunity,” said Ross Jackson. “The NAACP Youth Council will also be pleased with it, because we’re going to put a smile on the kids’ faces.”
He added that there will be “many happy families and children,” and that plays into the council’s mission to advocate for racial and social justice. He added that when it comes to education, healthcare and housing, this was their opportunity to positively impact those impacted by the food desert on the west side of Bloomington.
“It’s important for everyone to know that we will serve anyone, regardless of race, creed or color, because it’s the right thing to do,” Ross Jackson said. “Hopefully others will follow and can help people where assistance is needed.”
Bloomington’s Robin Rhymes stopped by to buy food on Saturday. She told the Pantagraph that she had just made a shopping list, but didn’t know what to do for Thanksgiving.
Rhymes said she was grateful to the people and resources in the community who made the event possible.
“I don’t know what I would do without them,” she said.
Ross Jackson said the council had already shared great accomplishments and “the best is yet to come”.
The council helped organize a Halloween trunk or treat at Normal Community West High School as well as a back-to-school campaign. He said they plan to continue doing both.
“We want to make sure that every young person can not only survive, but also thrive,” he said.
Moreover, he said that they held a peaceful rally last year and will hold another one next year if necessary. He said they would also continue to build relationships with Bloomington Police Chief Jamal Simington and other community leaders.
Kiki Towns, Family Services Coordinator for BHA, said their families are always looking for opportunities for growth, as well as partnerships and services to connect them with the community.
“What would community be without partnership? she asked.
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She also said it was great to see young people helping the community.
“It’s really empowering to see,” Towns said.
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Contact Brendan Denison at (309) 820-3238. Follow Brendan Denison on Twitter: @BrendanDenison