40th Anniversary of Hosea Feed the Hungry

10:53 PM, Nov 25, 2010   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Once you get through the stress of traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, it's all about giving thanks and traditions.

One of Atlanta's great traditions is now in its 40th year.

The Hosea Feed The Hungry gathering of 30,000 at Turner Field is uniquely Atlanta. Like the city itself, this charity in motion has evolved and grown and offered help to those in need.

It is staggering to see how many people in this city are in need and how many are children.

Estimates put the gathering as the biggest ever.

On this Thanksgiving, the plates were as full as the lines who sought them.

"Let's keep it going," a man dressed as the Rev. Hosea Williams said over a bullhorn.

The Rev. Eric Terrell knew Rev. Williams well.

They marched together at civil rights protest rallies.

He told 11Alive's Jeff Hullinger, "His spirit lives here and Rev. Williams, I believe, is looking down smiling on us, and we are still carrying on his legacy."

And his legacy has grown and evolved in the 10 years and nine days since his passing.

Elizabeth Omilami is one of Rev. Williams eight children -- four girls and four boys.

She now heads up Hosea Feed The Hungry.

Under her leadership, the HFTH organization has become an Atlanta success story.

"He is definitely walking among us," she said. "He would be proud that we were able to pull so many different kinds of people together - the Koreans, the East Indians, the corporate, and the churches."

The Koreans were a major part of the day at Turner Field.

Korean churches in Metro Atlanta provided food and volunteers this Thanksgiving.

The Korean impact could be seen on the Thanksgiving plate.

What was sitting next to the turkey and stuffing?

"We have spring rolls, kimchee, Korean barbeque, seaweed and rice," Omilami answered quickly.

Hullinger asked the HFTH Director, "Are you eating that?"

"Yeah, I'm eating it alright," she said.

Yount Lee was working the buffet line, and said, "Korean churches and leaders in the community were looking for volunteers, and that's how we all got together."

Among those helping was Dr. Samuel Song, a Duluth pediatrician.

"You know I was shocked when I first found out about this event," Song said. "You always know there are people in need, but I had no idea there were so many people looking for help."

That is exactly what the Rev. Williams had in mind when he first began feeding the homeless.

The 40th anniversary event also offered health care, a barber, clothing, bus tickets, and legal aid.


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