In January 1969, the Free Breakfast for School Children Program was initiated at St. Augustine's Church in Oakland by the Black Panther Party. The Panthers would cook and serve food to the poor inner city youth of the area. The initial program was organized by St. Augustine's parishioner Ruth Beckford and Rev. Earl Neil.
The Program became so popular that by the end of the year, the Panthers set up kitchens in cities across the nation, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school. The Program was started as a means of feeding Poor Black Youth in the Communities of West and North Oakland but also included East Oakland's Black communities as well.
The Black Panthers were able to get many major grocery stores to donate foods to the program, especially Safeway. The FBI tried to sabotage these programs by sending letters to local grocery stores to stop donating to these programs.
Chicano Community Free Breakfast Programs.
The Black Panthers had many allies, especially other oppressed people. They began working with a Group of Militant Chicanos from East Oakland's Fruitvale district this group was called the Chicano Revolutionary Party (CRP). With the assistance of the Panthers the Chicano Revolutionary Party started a Free Breakfast program for Chicano Latino Children in Jingletown at Mary Help of Christians Church. also the CRP and Brown Berets and Teatro Triste organized a Free Breakfast program at Fruitvale Congregational Church on Fruitvale Ave. and E16th St. There was also Free Breakfast Program at Saint Mary's Church in West Oakland done by the CRP.
Links and References
- Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast for Children Program foundsf.org
- Free Breakfast for Children on Wikipedia