When America gets a cold. The black community gets pneumonia.
ATLANTA, GA – To address the increased need for food assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak amid school closures and social distancing, the EBONY Foundation wants the community to know WE GOT YOU. Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, over a million tons of food will begin making its way 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 community’s 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.