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A Minneapolis middle school requested 85 meal kits for families in need after stores were looted and destroyed. It was overwhelmed by the community's response.

INSIDER logoINSIDER 31/05/2020 (Darcy Schild)
a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Piles of food donations outside Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis. LittleLioness6/Twitter © LittleLioness6/Twitter Piles of food donations outside Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis. LittleLioness6/Twitter

In the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on Monday, riots have erupted around the country as people protest against police violence against the African American community.

One middle school that's three blocks away from Minneapolis' 3rd precinct police station put out a call for help in response to the looting and destruction of grocery and convenience stores caused by protests, which has impacted students and their families.

"We had a parent that reached out to us who was checking in with other families in the community, and we heard they needed food," Jabari Browne, who's been a special education teacher at Sanford Middle School for five years, told Insider. "Due to the protests, a lot of stores are shut down and burnt down, and we have a lot of kids that don't have transportation."

The school requested 85 meal kits to be donated as part of the drive, Sanford Middle School Principal Amy Nelson told CBS Minnesota reporter Marielle Mohs — but what resulted on Sunday morning was an incredible overflow of donations that has filled the school's lawn with supplies and caused traffic backups all day, Browne told Insider.

Browne estimated that the school received "tens and thousands of donations" starting early Sunday morning — and pictures of the school grounds from Twitter users match that description.

Nelson told CBS Minneapolis that the response is "not surprising."

"We live in a great city, and we have people who want to help," Nelson said. "The response has been overwhelming in a very positive way." 

Browne said that the school's food drive is just one symbol of the resilient spirit of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

"It's been hard sleeping these past couple nights. I've been in fear thinking what the town is going to look like when we wake up," he said. "But I was able to sleep well last night knowing we'd be able to make so many kids and families smile."

Browne said: "This will let everyone know that despite everything that's going on, we are a strong-knit city."



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