Free food, haircuts and bicycles given out Monday at Newport News event

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Free food, haircuts, books and more were available for the Newport News community on Monday afternoon.

The One City Celebrations holiday food distribution event at the Denbigh Community Center at 15198 Warwick Boulevard was hosted by Councilwoman Sharon P. Scott and the Full Circle Foundation. The version of the event has been held this time of the year for several years now. There was also a similar event held last month.

Monday’s food drive was from 1-7 p.m. and includes free haircuts by Tomorrow’s Image, thousands of free children’s books from Books on Bikes and more giveaways. Scott said while turkeys were tough to get this year, they were prepared to feed a thousand families, with a minimum of two bags of groceries and a turkey per family.

People started lining up around noon.

“My name is Cecilia Flores and we’re delivering food to needy people. It’s Christmas, so there are people that are struggling to have food on the table and presents for the kids,” said event organizer Cecilia Flores. “… Every family struggles in a different way, so we are here to help you to make your Christmas a little bit better.”

Councilwoman Scott said sponsor Sentara Healthcare was able to help get bicycles for 100 elementary school students. Those students were pre-selected and received their free bicycles at the event.

“We are out here at Denbigh Community center picking up a bike for our first-grader,” said mother Samantha Johnson.

The bikes go to accomplished students from each school.

“He won SCA president for the school this year, and then he got the free bike, which is the first time he’s gotten it since he’d been here, and he is ecstatic. He couldn’t wait. He’s been wearing my nerves all morning to get up here,” said mother Danielle Williams, referring to her son.

Scott said the bicycles and turkeys were the two largest expenses for the event. They may have totaled $22,000 to $24,000.

“I just hope that this kind of kicks off a little bit of joy for some of the people who weren’t really excited for the holidays for whatever reason,” Scott said.

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