RICHMOND, Va. -- The devastating impact of COVID-19 continues to leave families reeling. Some are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
This weekend, neighbors are helping neighbors.
Ty White’s Team Loaded Foundation and Joe’ii Chancellor’s GodFirstEverything.com are on a mission spearheading the RVA Weekend Of Action.
“We want the parents to know and the city to get this message. We are all in this together. COVID-19 has touched a lot of us in a major, mighty way,” Chancellor said.
This Friday, organizers will partner with the health department to bring free COVID testing to the community at Hotchkiss field on Richmond’s Northside.
That’s the whole premise of this anyway, because of COVID-19 and the stresses and anxiety and people being overwhelmed. So, why not test them and then feed them? So we are taking care of our health, our body, mind, soul and spirit,” Chancellor said.
She’s referring to Saturday’s food drive called 5000 FED—a drive-thru event at John Marshall High School.
“We are going to feed 5,000 families. We are going to feed a family of four for four to five days. We are giving them meats, vegetables, sanitary items, toiletry items, clothes, and hot meals. We are doing voter registration. We are having the Census done as well. We are also having restoration of rights done as well,” White said.
He said one lucky family will even be surprised when they are gifted with a car, gas gift cards, and car insurance paid for a year.
“We just want to be a blessing to the community,” White explained.
This week donors like former VCU basketball standout and professional player Jesse Pellot-Rosa and other workers from Geoff McDonald & Associates dropped off items, hoping to make a small difference. Organizers, still in great need of meat donations, hope more people will follow their lead.
“A lot of people are in times that they never thought they’d be in. It’s important to help them out and give them that boost. Donating food is just our small part in that,” Ann Teconchuk added.
Pellot-Rosa said it’s good to be able to help out, especially during the unrest the country is experiencing.
“Just being able to come together as one. Helping one another no matter the skin color and no matter the background. Just everybody come together to try to help someone less fortunate and just try to give back,” Pellot-Rosa said.
This weekend’s event is free and open to anyone in the metro Richmond area, from the city to Hanover, Chesterfield, Henrico, Petersburg, and beyond.
You don’t have to register or sign up. Just show up to receive the free groceries and to take the free COVID-19 test.
The initiative is being supported by a host of sponsors, including Mama J’s, Whoa Behavioral Health, Oasis, Dzine Online, Tyson’s Chicken, and The Life Church.
Some local nonprofits will also participate, including volunteers from Mission From The Heart Foundation, Project Give Back To Community, Feed More, Richmond Public Schools, the Richmond Police Department and Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. Other local leaders include Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond City Councilman Pastor Mike Jones, and Rev. Tyrone Nelson from the Henrico Board of Supervisors.
The free COVID-19 testing on Friday will be held from 9 a.m. -11 a.m at Hotchkiss Playground on Brookland Park Boulevard. The big event, 5000 FED runs from Noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday at John Marshall High School.
It will be a contactless experience. Families will pull up in their cars, pop their trunks and the volunteers will put their items in the trunk and the will drive to the next table that is spaced out a safe distance away.
Donations to Team Loaded Foundation are tax-deductible. If you would like to contribute, contact organizers at 804-400-7498 or 804-909-4090.