MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — All summer, volunteers are donating their time and community members are donating funds to make Thursday nights special for Twin Cities youth.
The catering company, Chopped and Served, puts on a free spread at local parks that's not only delicious, but healthy.
Chopped and Served doesn't just find passion in making great food; the company has a humanitarian mission.
"We were just figuring out why there's so many kids downtown. What is there to do downtown? It's not a safe space. So how can we prevent the crime? How can we get them to a safe area, food in their belly and smiles on their face?" questioned Imani Jackson, the founder and CEO of Chopped and Served.
Jackson and her team came up with the Thursday night food giveaway that has turned into a party type atmosphere. There's a DJ, kids are playing football, and families are accessing nutritious food.
"I had Buddah bowls in my mind, something a bit healthier, not too filling, nothing fried something on the fresh and sustainable side," Jackson ruminated about her menu.
With each gathering, Jackson hopes it will fill a need she saw early on in her life.
"Essentially the help I wish I saw when I was growing up, we're creating for the kids now," explained Jackson.
The chef also wanted to create a strong sense of community.
"It's not just a one person thing, a one family thing. It's an all thing. It's a village." "That's what's important here is you see every different type of person, there's no hate. It's all love and at the end of the day, food is what brings people together," said Jackson.
Hundreds of meals are given out on Thursdays. If there are extra, Jackson and the volunteers give away plates to take home and then go around the neighborhood to deliver good cheer and even better food.
Chopped & Served also debuted a meal sponsorship program where for a monthly payment you can help a family in need.
There are a multitude of options for hunger prevention program. You can sponsor one family meal a month, weekly meals, even two family meals.
More information about supporting families in need available here.