Over 300 cars formed ongoing rows inside the Kankakee Farmers’ Market parking lot at 250 S. Schuyler Ave., while long lines also looped around the entire downtown city blocks on the evening of Monday, March 29. Still I Rise, a nonprofit organization, utilized the Northern Illinois Food Truck to help families in need by distributing nourishing food to hundreds of attendees at its Drive-Thru Food Giveaway II. Items that were distributed included boxes of fresh produce, a variety of frozen meats, fruit, dairy, non-perishable food products and full boxes of Johnsonville frozen meat, along with beverages from Pepsi Co.

Following up after a successful food giveaway several months ago, as executive director and organizer of Still I Rise, I felt that it was essential to add the food giveaway component to the Health and Wellness program due to the pandemic, in hopes to help feed hundreds of families and those individuals in need. After receiving my master’s degree from Roosevelt University and later working for the federal government, I moved back to my hometown to make a difference in the community. Over the years the organization has given away school supplies annually, educated and mentored youth and young adults on financial literacy and health awareness.

Jim Rowe (Kankakee County State’s Attorney), Chris Curtis (Alderman and current mayoral candidate), Darrell Williams (Kankakee School District 111 Board Member) and Pastor Dave Robinson supported this initiative by volunteering on-site, as they placed goods in vehicles and also directed traffic. Volunteers also included Kankakee Community College TRIO and High School TRIO program members, the Kankakee High School football team, Kankakee Township, the Kankakee Police Department, local residents and business owners.

Still I Rise would like to thank all of its supporters and sponsors: Chair of Democratic Party of Illinois – Robin Kelly, Midland States Bank, ComEd, Kankakee Economic and Community Development Agency, Nugen-Curtis Real Estate LLC, Meijer, Dave Baron: Deck and Baron Law Firm, Mancino’s, Riverview Grocery, the local Walmart and Berkot’s Super Foods.

For more information or to donate to Still I Rise, call 815-414-9614, email info@Still-iRise.org or visit www.Still-iRise.org.

Tocarra Eldridge-Robinson