Hundreds of families at Parkway Gardens on the South Side received free traditional Thanksgiving meals with all the trimmings at an event facilitated by non-profits Related Affordable Foundation, Equality Should Be Normal (ESBN), and Chefs Friends for Justice. The groups joined together to provide more than 1,000 meals from Goat Group led by Stephanie Izard – world-renowned of chef Girl and the Goat. The fresh cooked meals included turkey, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and cornbread.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we are all celebrating Thanksgiving this year and because of that, supporting each other and our communities is more important than ever right now,” said Leleah James, Related Affordable Foundation. “We’re proud to join with our community partners to ensure that hundreds of families are able to enjoy a free, full traditional Thanksgiving meal.”
“I grew up in a neighborhood in St Louis that mirrors the Parkway Gardens community and other divested communities around the country,” says ESBN Executive Director, Romel Murphy. “I founded Equality Should Be Normal to promote justice and equality for all Black people in Chicago. This Thanksgiving Feed the Community initiative partnership is another way to meet the needs of the community.
“Equality Should Be Normal is the most energizing, forward-thinking organization I’ve ever been a part of,” says ESBN Board Chair, Stephanie Izard, “Romel has already made huge strides in helping the community and I’m honored to stand beside him in the fight for equality.”
To protect the health of all participants and volunteers, the meal distribution was conducted with strict adherence to city and state COVID-19 protocols.
About the Related Affordable Foundation
The Related Affordable Foundation (RAF) is a charitable, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization committed to enriching the lives of affordable housing residents and breaking the generational cycle of poverty. Established in 2016, the Related Affordable Foundation sponsors impactful programs and activities in the areas of education, food security, health & wellness, and workforce development. To date the foundation has awarded more than $1.6M to organizations that address the unmet needs of affordable housing residents and the neighboring communities. For more information on the Related Affordable Foundation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director, Romel Murphy founded Equality Should Be Normal on Juneteenth, 2020 and, in a few short months, has organized a Peace & Equality Rally for over 8,000 Chicagoans and created the Make A Difference Weekend where ESBN fed some of the most divested communities in Chicago, had a panel discussion on racism, and facilitated free COVID-19 testing. ESBN also had the opportunity to take 9 Chicago youths to Washington DC to participate in The Commitment March and visit 6 Historically Black College and Universities. ESBN is opening The Barbara Murphy Community Resource Center, in honor of the Founder’s mother who passed away at 46 due to colon cancer, it is located on the South Side of Chicago in the divested Washington Park Community. It will offer many services to the Washington Park Community and its surrounding areas ranging from essential goods distribution, mental health services, college and career preparation, to local policy and candidate information for elections and so much more.