COVID-19 has added an additional obstacle for some families in South Florida who are already struggling. That is how Johnny Harris, better known as "Jay Five," came up with the idea to put together what he named "Feast for the Streets Turkey Drive."
"This was just a thought. I didn’t even see this coming into fruition until God made it happen," Harris said.
Hundreds of families drove or walked through NW 1st Avenue near Dorsey Park in Miami on Tuesday. These Overtown residents were given a box filled with a carton of eggs, vegetables, a gallon of milk, a warm meal and a pre-cooked turkey.
Someone else who lent his support to the event is Quinton Dunbar of the Seattle Seahawks. The NFL player was arrested in May in relation to a robbery that occurred at a cookout in Miramar. Prosecutors say charges against Dunbar have been dropped because of insufficient evidence. The cornerback did not attend the food distribution, but the residents are grateful nonetheless.
"I feel very thankful and blessed that we are able to receive a meal because this year has been hard considering COVID and a lot of changes going on in our community and our family," Laura Philpot said.
Philpot says her father-in-law, Lessie Thomas Philpot, died from complications related to COVID-19 in July.
“It was really hard for us," the Overtown resident said. "We found out on a Wednesday that he was in the hospital. Then on Friday he passed away. He passed away with his son on the phone talking to him."
Philpot’s father-in-law was a veteran marine who lived in California. Because of the pandemic restrictions, her husband was the only person permitted to attend his funeral.
“I just want to say thank you to the organizers for being considerate to the residents...and everyone that’s involved, you know, that’s been impacted," Philpho said. "They were able to put a lot of effort into and be considerate of others."