Raul and Fernando

Raul Cantu and Fernando Rodriguez Connecting Diversity with Hispanic Community

Both are creative, imaginative, energetic and dedicated as individuals, so combine the two and know that the project will be a winner, to say the least.

Last year, volunteer Fernando’s idea of a Hispanic music festival, “Viva RVA!” drew hundreds of people as we celebrated culture, food and music. The weather was perfect and the day could have not been better. Plans were set for September 2020. Then the pandemic hit.

A few weeks ago, Fernando made us aware of the enormous need for food in the local Hispanic communities. While all businesses have been impacted by the pandemic, the hospitality industry has been hard hit. Many Hispanic people work as housekeeping, food service and landscaping.
So, Fernando and our Events Coordinator, Raul Cantu, announced big plans of a food drive that would help 500 families by supplying a week’s supply of groceries. Once the plan was announced, the community responded. Diaz Foods sold us considerable inventory at cost along with a donation of goods. Feed More contributed 8,000 pounds of locally grown fresh vegetables. Several other companies made significant financial contributions as did community members.

On July 28th, volunteers and staff placed hundreds of bags of nourishment in the cars of people who needed food. “It was a very humbling experience” shared Board Chair, Cheezie Farmer. “Cars were lined down the street an hour before we began. I am very proud of Diversity Richmond. We helped lots of people.”

Another food drive is being scheduled for September.

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Diversity Richmond staff, board members, and volunteers unload and sort groceries to bag.

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Our bags of groceries and socially distanced outdoor distribution line.

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Pictured Above: Fernando Rodriguez, Haily Rose, Mimi Bishop, and Christine Wener