Kaiser Richmond workers treated to 125 meals from CJ’s Barbecue

Charlie Evans, owner of CJ's Barbecue & Fish (left) and Rodney Alamo Brown, co-founder of Soulful Softball Sunday, prior to delivering 125 meals to Kaiser Richmond healthcare workers on Monday, April 20, 2020. (Photos by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

Kaiser Richmond hospital workers were treated to 125 meals from CJ’s Barbecue & Fish today as part of a partnership with Soulful Softball Sunday, Holistic Healing and Green Remedy.

Rodney Alamo Brown, co-founder of community organization Soulful Softball Sunday, said the original plan was to host a barbecue in the hospital parking lot to feed essential workers. The parking lot plan, however, was canceled to comply with the shelter-in-place order. But that didn’t mean the offer of delicious barbecue was off the table.

As early at 7 a.m. Monday, CJ’s owner Charlie Evans and his staff were hard at work preparing meals to deliver to the hospital.

 “We have all the fixings for them,” Evans said. “They will get BBQ chicken, ribs along with macaroni and potato salads.”

Evans said this wasn’t just about food, but about letting the frontline workers know their community appreciates them.

Rebecca Vaquez, owner of Holistic Healing, said she felt obligated to part and help make a difference.

Kaiser Richmond workers treated to 125 meals from CJ's Barbecue“I am so very happy and stoked that we were able to do this for the healthcare workers,” added Aylin Giron, assistant manager of Green Remedy.

When Brown entered the hospital to deliver the food, he said he felt encouraged to see upbeat, optimistic healthcare workers doing what they do best. Brown said he coordinated the food delivery to offer Kaiser Richmond employees “a huge blessing.”

“When we started Soulful Softball Sunday in 2015, the ideology was very simplistic: Ask not what Richmond can do for you, ask what you can do for Richmond,” Brown said.

Brown said more meal deliveries are planned in the future.

Soulful Softball Sunday also helped to establish and staff an expansion of West Contra Costa Unified School District meal sites, providing closer access to nutritional meals for students.