Chandrel Wright- Richardson may have lacked many luxuries as a child growing up in Wylam, but there was always a hot meal prepared and shared with her community. Her grandmother instilled in her and her family to pay it forward.
This philosophy came full circle in March, during the COVID-19 outbreak. As Chandrel works in Birmingham’s downtown financial district, she noticed the impact immediately. Everyone began working remotely and businesses had to temporarily shut down leaving one group – the homeless community – without a basic need, a meal.
As Chandrel was leaving the office, she noticed her “Downtown Friends” were searching for food in the most unlikely place – the garbage cans. Due to the lack of businesses open, there was nothing to eat. This is when Chandrel channeled her grandmother’s spirit and jumped into action. She spoke with her brother and mother about her discovery and immediately they created a plan to prepare meals during the quarantine period. Since there were three people in Chandrel’s home, two in her mother’s home and three in her brother’s home, they multiplied that by three meals a day to get 24 meals. Using their own money, they prepared those meals thus M.O.M. (Multiplication of Meals) group was officially born.
March 31 was the first meal distribution and since then Chandrel has spearheaded this initiative that has distributed over 600 meals between Linn Park to Kelly Ingram Park with the combined efforts of Bonus M.O.M. Chandrel creates the menu, does the grocery shopping, coordinates volunteers, manages the money and communicates to the 50 member Facebook group that was formed. These members are virtual cheerleaders and help this grassroot organization through donations, volunteering and any other needs for our community.
Just as Vulcan demonstrates selfless love for the community, Chandrel has galvanized a community and created lasting relationships with our Downtown Friends. Chandrel is truly a servant leader.