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‘Life is too short’: Hundreds gather for food and fellowship on Des Moines’ east side

'Life is too short': Hundreds gather for food and fellowship on Des Moines' east side
'Life is too short': Hundreds gather for food and fellowship on Des Moines' east side(MGN)
Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 10:21 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) -The East Side Family organization brought hundreds of people from Des Moines’ east side together Saturday as they celebrated their 10th anniversary Community Cookout, KCCI reports.

The cookout, something that’s been going on for years before the official formation of the organization, continues to be a staple in the East Des Moines community. East Side Family holds the cookout at MLK Jr. Park on the third Saturday of every June, right before Father’s Day.

In addition to thousands in dollars worth of food that’s free to people who come by, the East Side Family team dishes out warm hugs and kind words to make sure people know they’re surrounded by love.

“We want them to see that you can come here, you get a good meal, you get along with kids, and just show them this is how life really should be,” said Sheryl Leverette, East Side Family’s vice president.

With the exception of what’s donated from grocery stores, Leverette and the East Side Family team buy most of the food each year. This year, they got the side dishes from Uncle Mike’s Catering Service.

The annual cookout is always full of people born and raised in Des Moines’ east side, so it’s like a reunion. Organizers get to the park early in the morning to start prepping for the big day.

“They were all here at 7 o’clock, grilling the meat so that it would be ready by 1 o’clock,” Leverette said.

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