You can eat Miss Leon's famous fried chicken and help those in need this Sunday.
Pride St. Louis' Jordan Braxton has watched the COVID-19 pandemic decimate incomes and upend lives for many in the LGBTQIA community. However, as she sees it, the virus has less created a need than it has exposed one.
"Everyone is a paycheck away from starvation," Braxton says. "I think the need has always been there, but people have been too proud to ask for help, and there haven't been as many organizations offering that help until it got to this bigger scale. We've always had people in the trans community who haven't had food, and finally, people are responding."
Braxton and Pride St. Louis have been responding to those needs for years, hosting semi-regular dinners that both provide meals to those in need in the LGBTQIA community and serve as a fundraising source for their efforts. This Sunday, they are resurrecting their Sunday Supper series with Feeding the Community Fried Chicken Dinner
as a way to help those who find themselves food insecure in the face of the COVID-19 reality.
The carryout-only dinner will be served from 3-7 p.m. Sunday out of Rehab Bar and Grill and will feature Braxton's famous Miss Leon's fried chicken. Pride St. Louis requests a $10 donation for a plate of chicken and side dishes from those who can afford it. For those in need of a meal, they can simple come to the dinner and get a plate, no questions asked.
For fried chicken aficionados, the return of Miss Leon's fried bird is a welcome beam of light in these dark times. For years, Braxton has been cooking the southern fried chicken at pop-ups and in kitchens around town, including a brief stint at Rehab's predecessor, Bomber's Hideaway. Braxton has always found comfort in cooking and feels that in this climate of fear and uncertainty feeding people is the best way she can help.
"There's something about fried chicken that is so therapeutic for me," Braxton explains. "Cleaning, seasoning, breading it — I enjoy it more than anything. I believe that good southern comfort food is good for the soul."
For now, Braxton and Pride St. Louis are billing this week's Feeding the Community dinner as a one-time event, though they are not taking future meals off the table. They are also talking about food drives and other ways they can meet the needs that the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare. As Braxton notes, it's what Pride St. Louis is all about.
"We want to show the community that we are much more than an organization that puts on a festival," Braxton says. "We're an organization that helps the community."
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