Saturday, February 17, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Visits First Baptist Church Food Pantry in Queens


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the First Baptist Church Food Pantry. Photo by Jason Schott.

Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and hip hop icon Eric B. volunteered and offered support to the First Baptist Church Food Distribution Center in Queens on Saturday afternoon.

First Baptist Church has been a pivotal fixture in Queens for more than a century, and one mission of the church is to help end hunger and combat nutritional insecurity, and Eric B. has been a weekly volunteer and anti-hunger advocate at the church.

"I had talked to Eric several weeks ago about this project and I told him I wanted to come see it, and one of the things that was very attractive to me about it is that Eric has been funding it for several, several years, and he makes the effort to make sure that the food quality that comes in here - it's high food quality," Kennedy told the press on Saturday. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Eric B. in the church's Sanctuary. Photo by Jason Schott.

"I think it was very important for Bobby to be here," Eric B. said in the press gathering. "First of all, Bobby, you know, when he talks to you, he wants to know who you are personally, so now Bobby got to see, first time I learned to swim was right here when the Pastor threw me in the water. So, I mean, this, for Bobby, is not a political stop. It's a stop because he cares about people, and he wanted to see exactly how people are living, so when he gets in position, he knows what he has to do. I thank Bobby for coming out, Team Kennedy for coming out, it took a lot to get us here, but we're here, and we will be back."

Kennedy enters the food pantry with Eric B. (at left). Photo by Jason Schott.

Kennedy gathers groceries for one of the recipients. Photo by Jason Schott.

Kennedy surveys the food pantry with the volunteers. Photo by Jason Schott.

"A lot of the produce, the fresh produce used comes from local farmers and from sources," Kennedy said. "You know, all of these communities, there's now 500 to 750 food pantries and soup kitchens in New York. Most of them are forced to accept the bulk of their produce from the processed food industry, and from surplus from the processed food industry, and that food tends to not be very good for you. It fuels the chronic disease epidemic that is now debilitating these neighborhoods. 

"Processed food is associated with scientific literature, not only with chronic disease, diabetes, now 60 percent of the people in these neighborhoods are now diabetic or pre-diabetic. 30 percent of the kids are either diabetic or pre-diabetic, and that is happening because we're poisoning them with food, with bad food, processed food, chemicals."

Kennedy also said Eric B. and First Baptist Church Food Pantry staff "make an effort to bring in real food. Now, I've been to many, many food kitchens, I've have never seen the kinds of fresh produce that I saw here, so that is critically important, and I'm very happy that I got to participate."

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. liked the variety of items ready to be handed out. Photo by Jason Schott.

Kennedy was asked why he feels he's better suited than President Biden to address the needs of people who depend on a food pantry, including migrants, and he said, "The ultimate difference is that President Biden is addicted to the war machine, and that the people who are funding the Democratic party are the big food processors, they're the pharmaceutical industry. They're the people who don't want a change in this, and the war machine is the ultimate reason why we have so many people on the street, plus the security issue at our border. The number of illegal migrants that has begun showing up here the last two years has doubled, and it's crushing - that problem alone is crushing the social services for New York City, and I don't think that President Biden, he's shown he can't control it...

"The way we ought to handle migrants once they're here, which is with compassion and with generosity, and with the kindness that our country is supposed to represent. The problem is, you know, we're a nation, we need to have secure borders. We need to be making sure that people who come in this country are people who have gone through the process, that we have wide gates, a fast class to citizenship, a fast track to citizenship. Having seven million people cross the border illegally in three years is not good for them.

"People are not coming into our country to eat at food kitchens... They're coming here because they want jobs, and that's good. We need immigrants to fill the jobs so that we could support a middle class in this country, so that we can support and keep soluble our Social Security system, but like every other country in the world, we need to control that issue. We do not want our immigration policy dictated by the Sinaloa cartel, which is now running U.S. immigration policy. There's no nation that could survive an open border, none, and that's what we have now."

Kennedy will also be appearing with Eric B. in Brooklyn on Sunday, taking part in a fireside chat at Gentlemen’s Foundry.

No comments:

Post a Comment