COLUMBUS (WCMH) – One local karate school is going beyond teaching their students about throwing kicks and punches. He’s working to find a way to address food insecurity in his community.
The owner of Ej’s Warrior Karate Academy, Ellis Jennings, said that during the pandemic, he transformed his dojo into a learning extension center. After seeing multiple kids coming for help, he saw many were coming for the free meals.
That’s how he knew he couldn’t let the summer go by without continuing to offer these meals, even with the extension center gone.
“People are in need of food,” Jennings said. “They are in need of a lot of things.”
This summer, he wants to get the word out about the summer meals he has available for the entire community. Every weekday, people can come to the dojo for breakfast and lunch.
“The meals are free to any kids,” Jennings said. “They can come here for breakfast 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. [On] Monday through Friday–and lunch 11:45 a.m. to 12:30p.m.”
Over the past two weeks, he’s been distributing about 25 meals daily, but he knows there’s more kids out there in need, which is why he wants to let them know his team will deliver meals as well.
“There are a lot of opportunities, and they should look for them,” said Malek Kel, one of the dojo’s students.
Jennings is hoping those who come through their drive thru will consider stopping in and seeing the work they’re doing.
This summer Ej’s Warrior Karate is holding a karate camp where the youth practice martial arts, learn about life lessons, do outdoor activities, help with summer school, have movie days, and more. He hopes more youth will join them and get involved in the positivity.
Kel said the community needs this, especially with the ongoing violence Columbus is seeing.
“I feel scared,” he said.
If anyone is concerned about the tuition for the summer karate camp, Jennings said there are scholarship opportunities available.
For any additional questions, they can visit https://www.facebook.com/EJWarriorKarateAcademy/