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 [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPTHJ.