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Thomas Huitt-Johnson News-Press Now Feb 23, 2017

Kenzie and Sheila Gilbert hold their award presented to them Thursday evening at the 13th annual Black Archives Hall of Fame Induction. Their community work, which includes Food-For-Kids, a summer outreach program, helped the lives of thousands of people during the past 10 years. Kenzie and Sheila Gilbert never knew what could come of one afternoon lunch.

The two were sitting outside eating when some kids came up to them and asked if they could have some. They divided their lunch up between them, and from there, started a program that has since reached thousands of people over the past 10 years.

Food-For-Kids, a summer outreach program, has made sure kids don’t go hungry when school is out. Thursday evening, the two were inducted into the Black Archives Hall of Fame for the community involvement.

“I get an overwhelming feeling,” Sheila Gilbert said. “You have to have a lot of passion in order to give yourself to someone. It’s an humbling experience, a very satisfying experience, to feed a child that’s hungry.

“We are so grateful that we were acknowledged. ... We don’t know the plans the Lord has for us, but right now, this is our passion. We are excited when summer returns, so we can get back on the battlefield and take care of our children. We have a lot of underprivileged children in the community, they’ve traveled from afar, and we do whatever we can to make sure no child is hungry when school is out for the summer.”

During the two-hour ceremony, the public got together to hear their thoughts behind the program and what has motivated them the most. They say they will continue to help out and be involved in the community.

The program helped hundreds of kids each day during the summers and it continues to grow.

“It’s a program that we’ve gotten through a message of God,” Kenzie Gilbert said. “We were only following the will of God, because if it hadn’t been for him working through us, we wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

This was the 13th year of the Hall of Fame induction.

Among the speakers included Dr. Robert Corder, president of the St. Joseph Museum Board, and last year’s inductee, Gary Wilkinson, who presented this year’s award.

To help with this program, call Food-For-Kids at 816-364-5809.

Thomas Huitt-Johnson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPTHJ.

New inductees in

Black Archives Hall of Fame

February 11, 2017 BY POST STAFF 0 COMMENTS

Photo courtesy St. Joseph Museum

Photo courtesy St. Joseph Museum

Two new inductees are being welcomed into the Black Archives Museum Hall of Fame this month in St. Joseph.

The two new inductees are Sheila and Kenzie Gilbert. As part of Black History Month, a reception and induction will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, at the Black Archives Museum, 3406 Frederick Avenue. The induction ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. The Black Archives Museum Hall of Fame showcases the achievements and contributions of St. Joseph’s Black community members.

The Black Archives Museum of the St. Joseph Museums features exhibits on many aspects of the African American experience in St. Joseph.

For the Hall of Fame, a call for nominations from St. Joseph community residents is made. Nominees must have had a significant and lasting positive impact on the St. Joseph community as a whole (economically, physically, spiritually, or intellectually).

According to the museum, as with previous inductees, Sheila and Kenzie Gilbert have given freely of their time and talents to benefit the St. Joseph community. Among other projects, the couple founded “Food-For-Kids” in 2007 after seeing a need in midtown St. Joseph. Food-For Kids is a summer outreach program that has grown into providing 150 lunches per day in the summer months. The Gilberts solicit what is needed from donors and coordinate with local volunteers to keep the program in place for those in need. It is a project that they believe is God’s will for them.

New inductees are chosen by the Black Archives Museum committee members.

Jewell Robinson, the founder of the original Knea-Von Black Archives, and his wife Geraldine, were the first inductees. Since that time, Helen and Ramadhan Washington, Earnestine Blakley, Jerry Cooper, Alonzo Weston, Joyce Starr, Dr. William and Lois Hedge, Rep. Martin T. and LaVell Rucker, Pastor Louis and Rev. Connie Monroe, Leo Blakley, Leechia Jones, Rev. James and Mrs. Cozetta Foster, Dorothy Blakley and Charles Triplett, Rev. Robert and Kimberly Warren, Virginia Glass, and Gary Wilkinson were inducted.

The public is invited to the 2017 Black Archives Hall of Fame Induction on February 23. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. Call 816-232-8471 for more information or visit

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