The City of New Orleans has a major Homeless problem. With the city’s rapid growth and consistent increase in tourism, it seems the Homeless population continues to increase as well.
The city has become a staple in the filming industry, being the prime location for hundreds of movies and television shows per year, including the hit TV Series, Queen Sugar, which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
For Easter, the cast of Queen Sugar partnered with Metro Assembly of Faith Church to feed 250 Homeless people near downtown New Orleans.
“It’s Easter. I wanted to do something that would please God. We see these people all the time with nowhere to live and no food to eat. What’s a better way to spend a day like this than to give back to people and show them love,” said Kofi Siriboe, who plays the role of Ralph Angel on the Queen Sugar series.
Cheryl Miller, Production Supervisor for Queen Sugar, encouraged Siriboe to partner with a local church to help bring the vision to life. Tachic Hickman-Piazza, Travel Coordinator for Queen Sugar, suggested they work with Pastor Ro Wright because she had witnessed his impact around the state with community efforts of this magnitude.
Miller invited Ro Wright, Pastor of Metro Church, to spend the day on the set of Queen Sugar. She introduced the Pastor to Kofi.
“From the minute I met this young brother I knew there was something special about him. He had this burning desire to bless others. He had a vision and a plan and simply needed a local extension to bring it together,” said Wright.
Siriboe wanted it to be special and First Class. “I didnt want to just give them sandwiches. I wanted them to get full. Not just with food but with love and hope and positive energy,” he said.
He hired one of the best Chefs in New Orleans to cater the event. Carlos Garcia, of Hanna Brothers, brought their full staff to Tent City. In New Orleans, many of the Homeless sleep in an area referred to by locals as ‘Tent City’ because hundreds of Homeless people sleep in tents under the high rise of Hwy 90, which runs parallel to the New Orleans downtown skyline.
Garcia’s staff set up enough tables and chairs to feed 250 people. The menu included gumbo, fried chicken, saulted potatoes, various vegetables, and much more. With the cast, crew, and church workers, nearly 400 were fed as they fellowshipped with the less fortunate. Kofi Siriboe covered all the expenses out of his own pocket.
“The Queen Sugar story is phenomenal alone. It’s a positive reflection of New Orleans. It displays how a family struggles and grows together in spite of the odds they face. The show is a great demonstration of forgiveness, humility, and pride… many attributes which are missing in today’s films,” said Wright.
Pastor Wright said he witnessed an amazing circle of love and friendship amongst the whole cast. “Our church has worked with many of the entertainment representatives here in the city but the love and friendship that I witnessed with these cast members was uniquely rich and honorable. Kofi Siriboe is a rising star. I believe he is a beacon of light that will be seen around the world, not just for his incredible talents on screen but also as a humanitarian and a voice for the voiceless,” said Pastor Wright.
Many of the cast members, production crew, and administration team participated including, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, (who plays Charley), Nicholas Ashe (Micah), Timon Durrette (Davis), and Ethan Hutchinson (Blue).
“I have been so lifted today. This is the kind of energy the world needs,” said Timon Durrette, of the cast.
But the day wasn’t just about food and the thunderous sound of the New Orleans Second Music which blasted through the sound system. Ministers from Metro Church prayed with many of guests. They were invited to dance and sing as well. Frankie Beverly had about 400 background singers because everyone in attendance sang “Before I Let Go” with enthusiasm as if Maze was there in concert.
New Orleans Spoken Word Artist, John Lacarbierre shared a powerful poem. He was invited by Pastor Wright because feeding the Homeless is a big passion for Lacarbierre, who actually feeds the homeless year round.
“I am so humbled by the support from our team, the church, and all of the people we were able to feed today,” said Siriboe. “This is exactly what I envisioned. People spreading love on a day that is rooted in love.”
The second season of Queen Sugar begins in June with a two night season premiere on June 20 and 21 on the OWN network.
(Article copied from Blackboot.us website)