An activist who distributes food to needy Jamaica Plain residents is planning a “legendary” fund-raiser in Roxbury to continue his efforts to feed JP’s hungry.
Organizer Jamarhl Crawford is bringing the Last Poets, a group of poets and musicians originally organized during the 1960s, to Roxbury to raise funds to continue his work with the Feed The Hood and Fill Your Fridge programs.
In Feed the Hood, Crawford and his helpers buy good-quality, healthy food and cook it either at home or at a near-by church. Then they drive around, handing the food to those who need it, mostly the city’s homeless population.
Fill Your Fridge works similarly, but is aimed at those who can prepare their own food. The same quality ingredients, purchased at wholesale prices, are distributed to individuals and families in need. Bromley-Heath is a common destination, Crawford said.
Bromley-Heath is a public housing development in Jackson Square.
“We serve people based on recommendations from places such as Dimock health [center], Victory Housing and several social workers,” Crawford said.
“With $200, we can buy a heck of a lot of food” at wholesale cost, Crawford added.
So far, Crawford and his helpers—they’re so grassroots they haven’t even incorporated into a nonprofit—have delivered hot meals to over 500 people in Boston, and almost 1,000 pounds of food to shelters.
“We have a good contingent of youths that come from this area…A lot of the kids we deal with are JP kids from Egleston Square,” Crawford said. “We’re trying to do this as our own give-back to the city, bringing culture.”
Crawford started accepting donations and handing out food during last fall’s Occupy Boston protest.
“But as Occupy Boston became less sexy, donations went down,” Crawford said, “Hopefully, this fund-raiser will help.”
Crawford also brought the national Occupy the Hood movement to Boston. He edits and publishes a newspaper, the Blackstonian.
As for the Last Poets, Crawford said he would love to bring them back, assuming the June 16 fund-raiser at Hibernian Hall on Dudley Street in Roxbury does well.
“If it’s successful, we’d be able to bring them back for workshops and lectures, then continue with other people—former political prisoners, artists, scholars—and build a pipeline to feed activism and put some fire under people,” he said.
Tickets for the Last Poets event are available locally at Got Sole 1981 at 617 Centre St. They are also available at blackstonian.com.