RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - R&B artist and Petersburg native Trey Songz kicked off the second part of his Black Lives Matter Weekend event with a ‘Feed the City Challenge’ where he along with city leaders hip-hop start Pusha T and former professional basketball star Ricky Davis, distributed thousands of pounds of food free of charge to residents of Petersburg.
The event took place behind the Petersburg Public Library on 201 West Washington Street and was inspired by Pusha T who pulled off a similar event in the Norfolk area where he was from.
After the success of that event, Scotty Massenburg a business partner of Songz, says Pusha T challenged them to pull a similar event in Petersburg.
“It started out as an idea this was just an idea,” Massenburg said. “Our roots are deep in the community so we just feel that this is an obligation to show people that you can do anything anytime. even in the midst of bad times.”
Trey Songz, the Ricky Davis Foundation and others purchased over 30,000 pounds of food which they began distributing at 12 p.m.
Traffic was backed up for several blocks on Washington as Petersburg residents made their way to the distribution site.
“We got over 20-some thousand pounds of meat, over 6000 pounds of vegetables and 32,000 gallons of milk along with so much more,” Massenburg said. “It was a lot of moving parts and we had a lot of help from the city.”
The celebrities were joined by Petersburg City Mayor Sam Parham and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax who expressed their gratification toward this act of generosity, in addition, to support for the BLM movement.
“I’m so honored to be here and right now Petersburg is leading the way for this country to show us how we can come together as a community, how we can rise together, and support one another,” Fairfax said. “This is the first year of the next 400 years of America, this is exactly the kind of light that we strive for in the middle of the darkness.
“Virginia loves him, Petersburg birthed him and he has gone on to do things incredibly around the world, but he’s never forgotten about home,” Fairfax said.
“This city needs me to hear and now and forever and I will be here to give my hand back,” Songz said. “I was taught to spread love hear, I was taught to love and protect my black women here, I was taught to be there for my black brothers so that’s why we’re here today and I want the youth to know who are watching today that anything is possible.”
During the event city council members also directed people coming to pick up food who weren’t registered to vote to register at their pop up voting registration booth.
Residents were also given supplies personal protective equipment including facemasks and latest gloves to help protect against the spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19.
“We want to be the pillar in their community to join different companies and different police departments because it’s tough; unemployment’s hard the COVID-19 is real so we just want to be that hope and support in the community,” Davis said.
Songz said he and the hundreds of volunteers at the event were prepared to stay until all the food was given away to the community.
The R&B artist said that he plans to make the Black Lives Matter Weekend event an annual event that Petersburg can look forward to.
“Black lives matter, and in Petersburg they matter more to me here than anywhere else in the world because I was born here,” Songz said.
Sunday, the Black Lives Matter Weekend event will conclude with the BLM Fathers Day Bike ride at 9 a.m at John Marshall High School.
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