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CALHOUN FOODS GIVES AWAY BOOKS IN SELMA
Tuesday November 25, Calhoun Foods announced they’re partnering with 21st Century Youth Leadership, The Selma Dallas County Public Library and the Selma Institute for Peace and Prosperity to give away hundreds of books in Dallas county and the Blackbelt. Calhoun also gave away two hundred books to local organizations and announced the commitment to the Selma City Schools for hundreds of more books to given away in the weeks ahead. The books are being donated as a result of a collaboration by Calhoun Foods, The Medical Place, and First Books. In Octobober 500,000 books were housed in a Montgomery County Schools warehouse for national distribution. People loaded up cars full of free new books to give away to children that would not ordinarily be exposed to be books in their homes or neighborhoods. “It is a national distribution. This is the hub for local teachers to drive up and pick up books for free, we’ve had folks drive from as far away as Mississippi, folks drive from Selma, as well as we’re shipping out books to people who can’t drive here, folks who are in New York and California and in Texas we’re shipping books to them as well” said Veronica Creech, Senior Director, Global Engagement of First Book. Creech said that volunteerism plays a major role in making the event happen and that they help separate, distribute, restock and pile up in cars all the inventory in the warehouse. ShaKenya Calhoun of Calhoun Foods said that their employees from each store also volunteered and it took about 40 volunteers a day for 5 days to clear the warehouse.
Calhoun CEO Gregg Calhoun said this all came about as the result of his assistant Jimmie Calhoun connecting him with First Book board member John Harmon who is also chairman of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and Calhoun and Dr. Albert Seawright, CEO of The Medical Place who are looking to form a Montgomery chapter of the Chamber deciding that they want to create a schools to college pipeline instead of schools to prison pipeline for young black men. They also pointed out that statistics suggest that if children can’t read by the age of six they are more likely to end up in prison. 10,000 of the 500,000 books will stay in Alabama with a bulk of them set aside for Selma and the Blackbelt.
L to R, Chaselyn Martin, Desmond Martin, Beverlyn Seroy, Phyllis Pierce, Lola Simmons, Sonja Greene, Arthur Capers, Kalim Muhammad, Michael Morgan, Lovell Fails, Liz Smiley, Jerria Martin and Kayla Chappell in front of Calhoun Foods.