African Americans for Bread Not Bombs

Award Recipients - 1998

Clara Williams, Cofounder

Clara Williams co-founded African Americans for Bread Not Bombs (AABB) in 1983 to feed the hungry and draw attention to the problem of hunger and homelessness in the United States.  Outraged that people were eating out of garbage cans and living in boxes in the richest country in the world, Ms. Williams and others initiated AABB.  They concluded that a food pantry would feed people and could, at the same time, make a statement about the problem of hunger in New York City.  The AABB food pantry served more than 4,000 people a year for almost 20 years.  
African Americans for Bread Not Bombs was housed in several Brooklyn locations from Fort Greene to east New York before settling in Bedford-Stuyvesant.  AABB distributed both food and clothing to people living in the area and neighborhood volunteers assisted with soliciting donations, receiving contributions, and sorting, bagging and distributing the food.  Ms. Williams organized empowerment workshops with the participants to explain the benefits to which they were entitled and assist them with voter registration.  She also encouraged local public school students to work in the pantry and do community work.
Clara Williams passed away in 2001.

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