Small communities were hit hard back in March of 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 spread across America. During those first few weeks, La’Berrick Williams ’05 reached out to help feed his community in Huntsville, Alabama, drawing upon his family values, recipes and the West Point call to service.
Williams owns and operates Jell’s 4 Ever BBQ food truck, named for his grandparents Jell and Ever Scruggs, who owned the Jell’s 4 Ever BBQ restaurant in Huntsville. His grandparents taught him how to make their signature “Magic Red Sauce,” and he also witnessed how his family helped feed anyone who came into the restaurant hungry.
So, on March 25, 26 and 27, for three straight days, Williams began giving away meals from his food truck to help students who suddenly had no school and people who suddenly had no jobs. These meals were home-cooked southern plates that included BBQ pit chicken, pulled pork, or brisket with a side of baked beans, potato salad, green beans, or buttered corn with a roll.
“It's part of my DNA from how I was raised by my parents and grandparents. West Point instilled in me ‘Duty, Honor and Country.’ Serving in the Army taught me leadership, along with selfless service. For this, I am forever grateful,” says Williams. With his team and local volunteers, Williams was able to serve more than 150 plates a day before the mandatory shut-down in their state. Williams says they plan on doing this again in the future but have remained closed for the past couple of months due to safety protocols.