KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In Missouri, COVID-19 is impacting African-Americans more than any other race. The Clergy Response Network is hosting a free virtual town Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss the problem, and possible solutions, as cities reopen and people head back to work and church.
Calvary Baptist Church in Kansas City is responding to help people who lost their jobs and businesses, and to those in need of food. They provide daily meals for children 18 and under and twice a week, they host a grocery giveaway to people economically struggling since COVID-19.
"I didn't realize initially how bad things were but we're seeing tons of people, people for the first time who have had to rely on food pantries to feed their families," said Rev. Eric Williams, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church.
According to data from Missouri Public Health Preparedness, over 12,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, resulting in over 680 deaths.
African-Americans are the second largest group affected in Missouri, making up nearly 32-percent of people diagnosed. 37.6-percent of people who died of COVID-19 in Missouri were Black.
African-Americans are only 11.8-percent of the population in Missouri, so per capita, African-Americans are impacted at a greater percentage.
Rev. Eric Williams organized the Clergy Response Network to be the go-to voice in the African-American community to help people stay safe at home and in church. It's combination of faith leaders from different religions collectively offering information and resources on how to reduce people's risk of developing and dying from COVID-19.
The free virtual seminar is May 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone can join virtually to listen and ask questions.
To register and receive the link to the virtual meeting click on this link.