Area organizations come together to help citywide meal program after City Hall looting destroyed supplies

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A collaborative effort to feed the hungry was an unexpected victim of the looting in Philadelphia during unrest in the city. 

Broad Street Ministry is one of a half-dozen organizations that banded together to create "Step Up to the Plate,” a group effort formed at the beginning of the pandemic to create outdoor space to provide meals to the hungry and those experiencing food insecurity. 

The program has been feeding 13,000 people a week at eight locations in the city since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

The ministry's Geremi James said during the chaos on May 30, when fires were set at City Hall, a container holding supplies for the food distribution program went up in flames.

"Our storage container was located at our City Hall meal site and it just contained some water, and tables and hand sanitizer that we use every day when we provide meals,” James said.

Although it was a loss, James said Broad Street Ministry stands with protesters in the movement for social change.

"The storage container is kind of inconsequential in comparison to all the things that are happening across the world, really, with standing up to injustice and racial and systemic oppression,” James added. 

James believes the container fire was not set on purpose.

She said many of the items in the container were donated, and people and organizations have stepped up to replace all that was lost.