L.A. Rams defensive back Quentin Lake takes a picture with community members (L.A. Rams photo)

It’s Bigger Than Us brings fresh produce, food and more to the community.

It’s Bigger Than Us (IBTU) held their Farmer’s Market x Friday Lunches Experience in celebration of Black History Month on Friday, Feb. 23. This event was hosted in collaboration with the L.A. Rams, PepsiCo, and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

“Every week, Tuesdays and Fridays, we do food and resource distributions where we bring health partners, food vendors and the community together,” said Tyrone Nance, founder and CEO of IBTU.

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IBTU is a nonprofit that focuses on creating community activations centered around holistic health equity and creating solutions for families to thrive.

“Once a month, we’ll do something called Community Fridays when we’ll partner with bigger entities to bring more exposure to some of the other partners,” said Nance.

“We’ll do it at People Street (Leimert Park) or another location but for Black History Month we’re excited to be able to partner with the Rams and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Pepsi to be able to do something like this where we have 3 Leimert Park, Black-owned restaurants right here, where they they’re giving out warm food.”

IBTU is a 501C3 nonprofit based in Leimert Park that puts together events for attendees offering farmer’s market-style distribution, providing access to a variety of fresh and nutritious produce. Food vendors and partners included Taco Mell, Ora/Hot and Cool Cafe, and Wah Gwaan Jamaican Kitchen & Bar, all of which provided complimentary meals.

The Associated Student Body Leadership of Audubon Middle School takes a picture with L.A. Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua (center) and It’s Bigger Than Us Founder and CEO, Tyrone Nance (Right, Yellow Shirt) (Brian W. Carter/L.A. Sentinel)

Information was available at booths from organizations and local officials’ representatives that included Charles Drew, USC CTSI, USC All of Us, L.A. Cares, Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s office, Councilwoman Heather Hutt’s office, Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson office, the Los Angeles Federation of Labor and more.

“I mean this is what we’re all about at the Los Angeles Rams as part of our organizational DNA and we wanted to create a special day of celebration for Black History Month,” said Molly Higgins, executive vice president community impact and engagement for the Rams.

“I think there’s no greater place to do it than Leimert Park and to be able to bring in our partners at LA Regional Food Bank and put them in partnership with our friends [IBTU] it’s so meaningful for us because we know beyond today, they’re going to be partners for life.

“This impact is going to continue, it’s not a one-day occurrence.”

“I am a resident of this area, the theme here is ‘it’s bigger than us’ and absolutely, food insecurity is bigger than anyone entity in LA county,” said Kim Belcher Morris, director of Major Gifts, LA Food Regional Food Bank.

L.A. Rams mascot poses with LAPD officers and It’s Bigger Than Us representatives. (Brian W. Carter/L.A. Sentinel)

“It’s fabulous to see the food bank helping to mobilize resources across L.A. County to get food. I mean times are hard, food prices are exorbitant.

“We know that people of color are often disproportionately affected by many socioeconomic factors and so we’re here to serve and to help and to give relief through food.”

“It feels good, it feels good, this is really home for me, my family’s house is right down the street,” said Quentin Lake of the L.A. Rams. “I’m from the area but it’s always good to give back to the community.

“I think a big thing for us, especially with the platform that we have, is giving back, especially me being from here, being in the community, getting to know people in the community, it’s huge, it’s huge for everybody.”

Food vendors and partners included Taco Mell, Ora/Hot and Cool Cafe, and Wah Gwaan Jamaican Kitchen & Bar, all of which provided complimentary meals.(Brian W. Carter/L.A. Sentinel)

“This is what community looks like,” said Nance. “When we look at community, it’s all about togetherness and I can’t end Black History Month without continuing saying this quote that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

“I think today is a testament of what that looks like when we come together and we look out for each other.”

For more information, visit www.itsbiggerthanusla.org