The Supreme Life Givers on the Square
Words by Asean BornSun Allah, Founder of Supreme Life Givers Youth Inc.
“The Free Breakfast for School Children is about to cover the country and be initiated in every chapter and branch of tile Black Panther Party. This program was created because the Black Panther Party understands that our children need a nourishing breakfast every morning so that they can learn. It is a beautiful sight to see our children eat in the mornings after remembering the times when our stomachs were not full, and even the teachers in the schools say that there is a great improvement in the academic skills of the children that do get the breakfast.
At one time there were children that passed out in class from hunger, or had to be sent home for something to eat. But our children shall be fed, and the Black Panther Party will not let the malady of hunger keep our children down any longer.
The Breakfast Program has already been initiated in several chapters, and our love for the masses makes us realize that it must continue permanently and be a national program. But we need your help and that means money, food, and time. We want to turn the programs over to the community, but without your efforts and support we cannot.”
– March 26, 1969, Source: The Black Panther
In January, 1969, the Free Breakfast for School Children Program was initiated at St. Augustine’s Church in Oakland by the Black Panther Party. The Panthers would cook and serve food to the poor inner city youth of the area. Initially run out of St. Augustine’s Church in Oakland, the Program became so popular that by the end of the year, the Panthers set up kitchens in cities across the nation, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school. The Free Breakfast for Children Program spread from one small Catholic Church, to operating in every major city in America where there was a Party chapter.
Thousands upon thousands of poor and hungry children were fed free breakfasts every day by the Party under this program. The Panthers believed that “Children cannot reach their full academic potential if they have empty stomachs.” The magnitude and powerful impact of this program was such that the federal government was pressed and shamed into adopting a similar program for public schools across the country.
In the same year in the “Barrios” of New York City, The Young Lords Party instituted breakfast programs in the community with the belief that our people deserved and should fight for necessities such as food, clothing, and decent shelter. One such program was at “Emmaus House” at 241 E. 116th Street, where 50 young Brothers and Sisters received nourishing meals before they went to school. There were also Free Breakfast Programs in the Lower Eastside and in Newark, New Jersey that fed up to 100 children every weekday from 7:30am to 8:30 am. In Harlem, the Young Lords took control over the First Spanish Methodist Church which resulted in the transformation of that church into the new People’s Church. The Young Lords Organization, members of the community of “El Barrio” and their supporters liberated the church for the use of it by the people.
Using the church as a base, the Young Lords operated a free childcare service, breakfast program and legal clinic. Medical services were also provided. “The children of our community will have a free breakfast program and a Liberation School. No longer will they go to school hungry.”
“How can we concentrate on doing any learning when our stomachs are growling?”
In the spirit of these and many more movements, and the dedicated souls that birthed them and gave their whole being to selflessly fight for the rights of our children, emerges a man named Kokayi Nosakhere. Kokayi is an Anchorage, Alaska-based community activist who went from being a marketing director working for the Anchorage Urban League , to a food stamp outreach coordinator, to starting the Movement we all know now as BY 2015:AMERICA; all because he heard the cries of 16.7 million hungry children and decided to answer them.
I first became familiar with and built a brotherhood with this Brother in 2008 and since then, have been not only impressed, but also inspired, by his tireless work ethic and dedication, “don’t take no for an answer attitude”, and his magnetic ability to attract like minds into believing in him so much they too feel compelled to carry on the movement in feeding our children.
Around this same time, I was birthing a movement called Supreme Life Givers Youth Inc.(S.L.G.,Youth Inc.), which is based out of Rochester and Syracuse New York. S.L.G. Youth Inc. was formed to enhance the growth and development of the Youth, to illuminate those minds that stand physically, morally, spiritually, socially, and economically deprived and lacking in the knowledge of self, cultural awareness, and the understanding of their present state and conditions by teaching and inspiring them to reach their apex capacities through Education for Social Transformation, Self Introspection and Moral Reconstruction, which will enable the youth to become “Fruitful and Productive” members of their respective communities.
As a 5%er, 2013 symbolized the year of the master for me, the year that I would personally and collectively Know and Understand everything in my circumference, and make it my duty to align S.L.G. Youth, Inc. with other like minds, with the determined idea to make an impact in my community, and ultimately the world. One of the first people I thought of aligning S.L.G. Youth, Inc. with was my brother Kokayi and just as he answered the call of America’s Children in 2008, S.L.G. Youth, Inc. answered his call to assist him in helping to End Child Hunger by the year 2015.
To date, we have held peanut butter drives in the city of Syracuse, food and clothing drives in the city of Rochester, and have recently began to spread education and awareness of the movement by engaging in an “End Child Hunger Picture Awareness Campaign” throughout both cities. The Next Step for S.L.G. Youth, Inc. is to secure a Central Base of Operations where we can begin to serve meals to the children of the Rochester Community. This will undoubtedly lead to other locations, programs, and opportunities for the By2015:AMERICA Movement; assisting thee movement to grow and become a leading force in the Mission to not only address child hunger but to ultimately END CHILD HUNGER.
In closing, Supreme Life Givers Youth, Inc. would like to thank Brother Kokayi for giving us the opportunity to address all the By2015:AMERICA supporters, and for educating and inspiring us to take part in the movement. Together, we will make a Difference in the lives and futures of our Children.