NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — It’s a huge undertaking, but volunteers in Hampton Roads plan to feed hundreds of people this weekend.
The “Feeding 5,000” Juneteenth Celebration in Newport News is part of something that started more than two decades ago.
Andrew Shannon is the person who put it together. The event is in its 21st year. When it started, volunteers fed a couple of hundred people. The event eventually grew to the point they fed 5,000 people.
The name stuck.
“This feeding is needed now more than ever,” Shannon said. “Dr. King said we can all serve and being able to serve is important.”
On Saturday, The Andrew Shannon Gospel Music Celebration is ready to feed again. It’s part of an extended Juneteenth celebration. Volunteers are preparing hundreds of meals, but ready to serve more if they have to. They'll serve them outside The Alley in Newmarket in Newport News.
“Blue-collar, white-collar, we invite everyone to come, we want to liven the human spirit,” Shannon said.
Shannon said social distancing measures will be in place. Volunteers will use face masks and other safety precautions. The organization is partnering with the family-owned business, Queensway Soul Cafe.
“This community has been there for us and we felt obligated to help Mr. Shannon feed 5,000,” Roger Winston said.
This year, the event and the work seem even more significant after Governor Ralph Northam outlined plans to make Juneteenth a permanent state holiday.
“The timing couldn't be any better,” Shannon said.
The Andrew Shannon Gospel Music Celebration will host Feeding 5000 Juneteenth Celebration at noon on Saturday, June 20, 2020, at The Alley located at 100 Newmarket Square in Newport News, Virginia.
It will include a menu of hot delicious fried fish, wingettes, french fries, (while supplies last), and more surprises including “Celebrity Servers” and musical entertainment.
All meals are prepared and served in “TO GO” meal boxes.
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