Thanksgiving came early for unhoused East Oaklanders at more than 75 encampments with Feed the Hood 19 last weekend. More than 100 volunteers were involved with this effort as meals and personal care kits were packed and transported from The East Oakland Collective‘s distribution center on MacArthur Boulevard. Community Kitchens brought 2,000 boxed hot meals that were provided from 10 Oakland restaurants.
Other organizations involved included local Girl Scout troops, and the Freedom Community Clinic, which provided blood pressure screenings, haircuts, and reiki energy treatments at a large encampment near High Street.
Ttori Johnson, the lead organizer for the event, told Oakland Voices, “Feed the Hood is a cornerstone program for The East Oakland Collective. Feed the Hood has flourished into a community staple program. The continued growth of Feed The Hood is a testament to not only our collective power, but also, the continued need of our communities.”
The East Oakland Collective and Both Sides of the Conversation also sponsored a community afternoon of roller skating the previous Saturday at the Black Cultural Zone site at Eastmont Mall. Jon Henry, Executive Director, Both Sides of the Conversation, noted that the community was “a day to bring together Oakland and San Francisco, both sides of the Bay, in unity and love. Given everything that Black communities are faced with right now, it was great to be in community, family and friends together for some Black joy.”
Down the street at Praise Fellowship Christian Church, volunteers, many from local motorcycle clubs, provided shoes, clothing and 250 boxed meals to low income Oaklanders. Other East Oakland churches made similar efforts for low-income residents.