Hallie Q. Brown Community Center fights hunger with superheroes


(Photo courtesy of Hallie Q. Brown Center)
(Photo courtesy of Hallie Q. Brown Center)

It’s not often that you attend an event where the honored guests are named Spiderman, Captain America, Batman and Catwoman. But local kids had the opportunity to do just that at Hunger-Con, a family-friendly event organized by St. Paul’s Hallie Q. Brown Community Center.

Over 120 community kids and their families came by on April 2 to meet superheroes, make their own capes, play superhero BINGO and draw their own comics. Kids even had the opportunity to learn comic-drawing basics from local comic artist Christopher Jones.

“What we’re trying to do is combine social activism with fandom so that people can have fun while making a difference,” said Jonathan Palmer, executive director of Hallie Q. Brown Community Center. “If you can ‘be a hero in the fight against hunger,’ how great is that?”

As kids showed up in costumes ranging from Wonder Woman to The Hulk, their eyes got wide upon seeing the real-life version of their favorite superhero. The heroes and characters were volunteers from Minnesota Superheroes United and Central Garrison-501st Legion who generously donated their time to the cause.

Admission into the event was one non-perishable food item per person, with all donations going to the Hallie Q. Brown Food Shelf to help families in need. Kids also had the opportunity to learn about local hunger issues and statistics through trivia games.

Hunger-Con served as the wrap-up event for Hallie Q. Brown’s March Campaign, a month-long food collection and fundraising effort. All donations during the month of March are matched by Minnesota FoodShare, allowing each donation to go further in the fight against hunger. The Hallie Q. Brown Food Shelf served over 14,000 families in 2015.

Hallie Q. Brown Community Center’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our community by providing access to critical human services, fostering and promoting personal growth, and developing community leadership. The organization operates five core programs: Basic Needs, Early Childhood Education, Youth Enrichment, Senior Programming, and Martin Luther King Center Administration.

Hallie Q. Brown Community Center has been a staple of the Rondo community in St. Paul since 1929.


— Information and photo provided by Hallie Q. Brown Community Center.