Feeding One Thousand

by Junious Ricardo Stanton

During his first year in office, State Representative Stephen Kinsey initiated a district wide program he called Feeding One Thousand designed to feed his constituents a healthy and nutritious holiday meal while also providing information about constituent services. His vision was to reach out to engage the community, provide information about local and state wide social programs that benefit his constituents.

On Saturday November 23rd Representative Kinsey held his annual Feeding One Thousand at Treasures Banquet Hall located at 5549 Germantown Ave in Kinsey’s district. This was his first time using this facility for this program. In previous years he used churches located in his district. “We started this in 2013 my first year in office. Every year since I’ve been in office instead of giving out turkeys as my predecessors had done, we felt it was necessary to bring families together with resources, sit down and have a meal instead of just giving out a turkey and we don’t see them any more. This way they can come and learn about state services, learn about resources that our sponsors offer, come together, meet neighbors and just have a conversation. This provides them not just a meal, it provides them with education, resources and materials that can help them go on beyond today.” stated Representative Kinsey.

In addition to his office creating the Feeding One Thousand program Kinsey subsequently partnered with State Rep Isabella Fitzgerald to cosponsor it and enlisted the support of elected officials Congressman Dwight Evans, State Senators Sharif Street, Art Haywood, city councilman Derek Green and fellow rep Rosita Youngblood to assist. Kinsey also solicited sponsorship and support from area businesses. This year Fresh Grocer, Einstein Hospital, Gateway Health, Independence Care Philadelphia, Oak Street Health and PECO helped fund the event.

Kinsey also partnered with his fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi to make the event happen and help with the serving and logistics of delivering meals. “We started this in 2013, our intent is to continue this and with the help of organizations like Kappa Alpha Psi and our other sponsors we’re proud to be able to serve additional folks every year. This year is the largest amount of sponsors that we have ever had. We are growing, not only do we provide a sit down meal we also deliver to seniors and folks who are shut in. We deliver to senior citizen centers, shelters and individual homes. People who are unable to get out can just call the office and tell us they are unable to get out we deliver directly to them.”

The Philadelphia Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi provides the volunteers, their members, member’s wives (called Silhouettes) and students from their Guide Right mentoring program serve the meals at the venue, the brothers also made deliveries to the shut ins, centers and shelters.

From the outset when he first envisioned this event, Kinsey’s original goal was to serve a large number of constituents, at least one thousand meals in one day. His chief of staff Jenaye Channel confirmed that each year they reach their goal. “That is the goal and we reach it every year, between in house meals today at Treasures Banquet Facility and our deliveries to our seniors we can expect anywhere from five hundred to six hundred people here and we also deliver to our seniors in their homes, those who live in facilities and also those who do not have transportation.”

The Achievement Academy is the mentoring program of Kappa Alpha Psi. They mentor African-American males aged eight to eighteen. This year they have one hundred and six students in the program. Troy Robinson is the chairman of the chapter’s Guide Right Program which oversees the mentoring program. On Saturday many of the students and their parents were present volunteering, serving and helping to feed the people.

“The students are here today volunteering to feed the one thousand. Our Brother State Rep Stephen Kinsey puts on this event every year and our chapter supports it; and every year the Achievement Academy students come out and support by volunteering. For them it’s a way to give back to the community. Community service is very important to us (as a fraternity) so we want to make sure they do the same thing, give back to the community in numerous ways as well.” stated Robinson. Feeding One Thousand is one of several community service projects the Achievement Academy supports.

For more information about Feeding One Thousand contact Pa State Representative Stephen Kinsey at his Harrisburg Office (717) 787-3181 or in Philadelphia (215) 849-6592 or www.pahouse.com/Kinsey