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OYC ensures no child goes to bed hungry

Richard Yulman, Alonzo Mourning fund new dinner program 

Ashley Montgomery | 2/27/2014, 9 a.m.
The Overtown Youth Center [OYC] has become a guarded sanctuary for hundreds of children in its community. With its large, ...

The Overtown Youth Center [OYC] has become a guarded sanctuary for hundreds of children in its community. With its large, colorful and extra-personable staff, its no wonder that such an amazing initiative has conjured up to ensure that no child goes home hungry. 

Richard Yulman and former Miami Heat basketball star, Alonzo Mourning, launched OYC’s new Dinner

Program to benefit students at the center. Yulman is the retired co-chair and owner of Serta International. 

“It’s a very disturbing thought to think that children go to bed without a meal; we have so much here in abundance to make sure they don’t go without,” Mourning said. 

Mourning thanked Yulman from the depths of his heart for his gracious contribution to the center. 

Yulman says he has been a part of the OYC family for the past eight years. 

“Overtown has always been on my mind and always a place that is on my mind, and always at the top of my list in terms of important places in Miami,” Yulman said. 

His commitment began by supporting general program operations which led to this new dinner program which mirrors a program at the RJKB Family Charitable Foundation located in New Jersey for children in need. Upon noting its success rate, Yulman approached OYC to implement the same nutritional program. 

Yulman lost his wife of 37 years, Janet, in October of 2013. Before her untimely demise they had made a promise to match whatever was spent for their daughter, Katy’s wedding to benefit a cause that was important to them. 

“We wanted to provide meals to children and adolescents who would otherwise go hungry due to financial and family circumstances,” Yulman said. 

With an annual cost of over $250,000 for the next three years, the Dinner Program is looking to feed 300 students hot meals before they go home for the day. 

Tina Brown, executive director of the OYC spoke candidly about the hardships that many of the students face. One story in particular touched those in attendance the most. 

“Although he is no longer in this program, because of some family situations at home and he doesn’t really know where he is going to live — he stops by here every day because of the Dinner Program,” Brown said. “And we are perfectly okay with that.” 

During the dinner program launch, fourth and fifth grade students from the center performed a dance piece inspired by Black History Month. A poem was also recited that focused on the daily life of a student that comes into the center without eating. Parents also took the time to thank Yulman and Mourning for creating this program. 

The hot meals are delivered and served by PCS Special Event Catering and Design Team.

Brown says that the kids appreciate this new program and really take to Barbara, the owner of PCS. 

Proper nutrition is essential to a child’s well-being; now operating Monday through Friday, OYC’s dinner program looks forward to providing meals for each and every student.