Volunteers hand out 1K free Thanksgiving meals, free groceries in Woodlawn community

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Volunteers gathered outside the Parkway Gardens apartments in the Woodlawn neighborhood to hand out bags of free groceries and 1,000 free meals on Thanksgiving morning.

"We're just in the Parkway Gardens community, serving the people," said Romeo Murphy, founder and executive director of Equality Should Be Normal.

The meals were prepared by chef Stephanie Izard and her staff at the Girl and the Goat restaurant. Groceries were donated by Black law students at the University of Chicago.

"I saw that there was a big need for us to come over here and support these families over here, because they're like the lost community," said Jennifer Maddox, a Chicago police officer who founded an educational nonprofit, Future Ties, a decade ago.

Maddox oversaw grocery distribution, while Murphy organized the meal giveaway.

The food distribution took place in the parking lot of Tailorite Dry Cleaning Service on the corner of 65th Street and S. King Drive, where Equality Should Be Normal offered free COVID-19 testing earlier this year.

Murphy is originally from a part of St. Louis that he described as "a divested area just like the South Side," and said that he decided to found his new nonprofit as soon as he moved to Chicago.

"Give as much as you can give," Murphy said. "Just remember that there's less fortunate. There's two side of Chicago and that shouldn't be."

Nonprofits Related Affordable Foundation and Chefs Friends for Justice also helped provide meals.
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