FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and Rainbow PUSH Coalition to give away food baskets
Chicago, IL: In the spirit of Christmas and the organization’s poverty initiative, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC) staff will be giving away food baskets Friday, December 6th, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the RPC’s headquarters, 930 E. 50 th St.
Staff and volunteers will distribute the first of 200 food baskets each week in December.
Rev. Janette Wilson, senior advisor to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., said there is a crisis of hunger and homelessness in Chicago “including 16,000 homeless students and those living on the margins of life.”
Rev. Wilson called for the full restoration of funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps. President Trump has proposed cuts to this program by more than $213 billion over the next ten years, or 30 percent, which will restructure how benefits are delivered and cutting eligibility to 4 million people while reducing benefits for some and work requirements for others. “That is not right,” Rev. Wilson said especially given the rise in homelessness.
Referring to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s Thanksgiving hot meal and blanket giveaways including to the homeless living at Tent City and under the viaduct at 51st and Federal Streets, Rev. Wilson called for the opening of Chicago’s shuttered schools as shelters.
“Taxpayers are paying millions of dollars just to keep these empty schools heated and lit,” Rev. Wilson said. “We can retrofit those buildings to be Single Room Occupancy’s (SRO’s) or shelters until we can provide them with long-term housing.”
And on permanent housing for the homeless, Wilson said, “If the military can rebuild war torn zones and rebuild the bridges and highways, we can build houses for the homeless. It may be tiny houses, but it is ungodly for us to allow people to exist on the margins of life with inadequate food and shelter.”
“We are providing Christmas food baskets to people because we care. This is our way of addressing the hunger crisis in Chicago. It is time to deal with the twin issues of hunger and homeless,” Rev. Wilson said.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.