BRONZEVILLE — Black Lives Matter Chicago, which added food provider to its list of community service efforts, wants to expand its services with more free food boxes around the city.
The group last year transformed a donated newspaper box in Bronzeville into a small food bank for residents in need.
Located in the Bronzeville Community Garden at 5100 S. Calumet Ave., the “food box” contains non-perishable food items such as canned vegetables, baby food and pasta.
Jon Ethan, a member and organizer for Black Lives Matter Chicago, said the box aims to address an issue that many low-income Chicago families face.
“It was an idea that we came up with to really have an effect on the whole concept of Black Lives Matter,” Ethan said. “So if black lives matter, what does that look like addressing that in the day-to-day world, not just in a way that we are dealing with reacting to what’s being done?”
The location of the food box was picked when members of Black Lives Matter Chicago, who at the time were volunteering at the Bronzeville Community Garden, learned people in the community were going hungry, Ethan said. So they decided to commit to stocking the box with food. He said already there’s been a great deal of positive community feedback.
The food box is open for public use 24 hours a day. The receptacle was painted with designs by a local artist.
People interested in supporting it are asked to contact Black Lives Matter Chicago first before placing items inside, although that too is welcomed. People can also donate to the project at PayPal.me/BLMChi.
Black Lives Matter Chicago can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, the Bronzeville box is the group’s only food box in the city. Ethan said Black Lives Matter plans to place more throughout the city in the future.
“We don’t require anyone to pick up any literature to become a member or anything,” he said. “So anybody that would be opposed to this is basically saying they’re opposed to meeting the needs of people who are hungry or are in need of supplementary food sources.”
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter will soon be co-hosting a community meeting about the Chicago Police consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. The event runs from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Chicago Justice Torture Center, 641 W. 63rd St.