LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Core Lead Organizer Chanelle Helm of Black Lives Matter Louisville (BLM) said the organization has delivered needed supplies, like diapers and food, to anyone in the community that needs it since 2016. With Coronavirus, getting out five days a week to make deliveries is now down to two days to reduce exposure. However, Helm said the number of families served has ramped up.
“During the time of coronavirus, a very, you know, international pandemic, we’re not getting ready to be forgotten. And not by our people, not by ourselves, no,” Helm said.
On Saturday, Helm and BLM member, Summer Dickerson, went where requests came from, a 74-year-old man’s house in West Louisville to deliver Gatorade and flash lights with batteries. Through word-of-mouth, people connect to BLM and let Helm know what their needs are. Another drop-off consisted of a case of water and baby diapers at a McDonald’s parking lot in downtown Louisville.
“You’re asking about a specific need that isn’t just about delivering groceries. It’s delivering dignity to people,” Helm said.
The money used to purchase items come from direct contributions to BLM so there is no red tape or bureaucracy to get the people the items they need. In addition to delivering supplies, BLM also helps with other necessities.
“I’m going to make sure that if anyone reaches out to me, they lost their job, they can’t pay their rent, we help pay people’s rent. We also get them food, child care, whatever they need,” Helm said.
On Saturday, the two shopped at wholesale retailers to purchase in bulk for families in need. In the late afternoon, BLM spent $924.76 at Costco on groceries to deliver to families. While shopping, Helm said three messages came in stating a need for food, one of them a mom who heard about what BLM does through another mom. She sent a list ranging from green beans to wheat bread to Helm.
“This is someone’s regular list, but because people are panic buying, like people can’t get the regular food that they need so that’s why we’re like let’s just use their metrics too and go out here and wholesale get it and knock out a few people at a time,” Helm told Spectrum News 1.
Right now, Helm said BLM is making deliveries to 60 families.
“So that’s the only way we’re going to get through this. If we help each other and just watch out for each other, that’s how we’re going to get through this,” Dickerson said.