Together We Stand: Community event provides $25k of free food, prizes & COVID-19 vaccines

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The rain wasn’t going to stop Connect Ministries and I Am the Voice of the Voiceless, alongside several other organizations, from helping out the community Saturday morning.

At 10 a.m., cars started driving through the Greater Warner Tabernacle AME Zion Church for free food and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Cynthia Finch, one of the lead organizers of the event with Connect Ministries, wanted to make sure the community could stop in one place for everything they needed.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime. We are meeting the basic needs of our community,” Finch said.

She said the event, called Together We Stand, would help people start the recovering process from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re talking about food insecurity, we’re talking about job loss, we’re talking about, we have physicians here to answer your questions,” Finch said.

Families coming to the event were able to grab large bags filled with food, such as eggs, raw chicken, cereal and more.

Organizers said about $25k worth of food was donated for the event.

To also help people recover from the impacts of the pandemic, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was available.

“I had come here to get the food bag for my sister. She’s having trouble with her son, he’s in the emergency room and everything. But Miss Cynthia has talked me into getting my vaccine,” Wendy Tate, an attendee at the event, said.

To get the word out about vaccines to the younger community, teens were also involved at this event.

Kids were recording segments on TikTok, spreading the word about their vaccine experience.

If they weren’t old enough to get the vaccine yet, they would talk about why they would get the vaccine when they are of age.

After recording a video, they got to spin a wheel for several prizes, including gift cards to Hollister and Game Stop, just to name a few.

As another avenue to help the community recover from the pandemic, the event had job resources.

The jobs offered were even available for 16 year olds.

If all that wasn’t enough, organizers were also helping teens, who were old enough, to register to vote.

“We’re in need and they’re just very helpful to the community. Keep the community going,” Barry Parks, an event attendee said.

The event was sponsored by the City of Knoxville, Burlington Food Bank, Connect Ministries, The Faith Leaders Church Initiative, Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, New Direction Healthcare Solution, Second Harvest Food Bank, I Am the Voice of the Voiceless, East Knoxville Free Medical Clinic, Project GRAD Knoxville and the Greater Warner Tabernacle AME Zion Church.

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