Derrick Rose's mother giving back to Englewood community
November 29, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Derrick Rose's meteoric rise to success with his signing on to the Chicago Bulls propelled his family from decades of struggle in Englewood. His mother, Brenda Rose, says their family could not walk away without reaching back. She relied on food assistance while raising her children and knows the need first-hand.
"They would give us cheese, butter, meal and rice," she said. "It was government-funded and it helped. And now I'm in the position to give back because I know what I got from him I was able to use to make sure that we were full at night."
Four years ago, she founded Uncle Shack's Food Pantry. Every Thursday, from a church basement, they give out groceries to families in need. She and other relatives are on the frontlines.
"It gives you a good feeling to help people that really appreciate it," said Latasha Rose, Derrick's sister-in-law. "A lot of the people that come are regulars. They come every Thursday and when they come, they treat you like family. They're giving you hugs thanking you and that makes you feel good about what you do."
Most of the food distributed comes from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Englewood is one of their areas with the greatest need.
"The food insecurity rate here is 48 percent," said Wendy Lake. "More than 18,000 individuals are living below the poverty level. That means that nearly one-half of everyone living here in West Englewood is at risk of hunger, which makes what happens here with the rose family and their pantry here so critical."
Those who receive the food say they are grateful for the helping hand.
"I have children and they need to eat so I had to do what I had to do," said Englewood resident Cawana Williams. "And when I came down to this church I felt so warm when I came in. It was a blessing."
"It's wonderful for Englewood because we always hear the bad stuff and you never hear about the good stuff that they do in Englewood and I just have to say 'thank you' and I really mean it," said fellow Englewood resident Bernadette Lewis.
Brenda Rose says she is proud to be able to give back to the community that she still claims as her own.
"I still have friends in this area, so I'm always going to be connected to this area, no matter what," she said.
ABC7 Chicago and Dominick's Food Stores are teaming up for the Spirit of Giving Food Drive, which will help supply food to pantries. You can drop off non-perishable food items at any Dominick's.
Spirit of Giving Food Drive: Click here for 7 ways to give
local, ron magers
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