October 14, 2021

By Brian W. Carter

Contributing Writer


Did you think the Taste of Soul party was over? You know you can’t stop soul power!

The 16th annual Taste of Soul Family Festival (TOS) presents a “Day of Service & Soul” (drive-thru only) on Saturday, October 16 on Crenshaw Blvd.  Families-in-need will be able to receive free groceries, clothing, personal hygiene items, PPE supplies, mental health and physical health services, and more. 

Chairman & CEO of Bakewell Media, the Los Angeles Sentinel, L.A. Watts Times and Founder/Creator of Taste of Soul, Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., is bringing the annual event a bit differently to keep everyone safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year, as you know, we’re not having the normal Taste of Soul on Crenshaw Blvd., but we invite you and all of your friends to come out,” said Bakewell. “This is the time for us all to come together and give back, which is the spirit of Taste of Soul.”

Bakewell Media and the L.A. Sentinel are giving back to the community by hosting a TOS Day of Service & Soul from 8 a.m. – 12 noon in the service island in front of the L.A. Sentinel located at 3800 S. Crenshaw Blvd., L.A. 90008 in partnership with Mothers In Action and The Brotherhood Crusade and non-profit partners. Cars can enter at 39th & Crenshaw Blvd. traveling North.

“This pandemic as affected all of us in ways that we could have never imagined, but we want to be here for each other and do something that is positive to enhance the quality of life for us and our children,” said Bakewell.

Celebrating Taste of Soul week, on Tuesday, October 12, a Pfizer Vaccine Day was hosted in partnership with Mothers in Action and the L.A. County Department of Public Health from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the L.A. Sentinel.

This year’s TOS Chairs are Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Councilmembers Marqueece Harris Dawson, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Curren Price. Co-Chairs include Congressmember Karen Bass, Senators Steve Bradford and Sydney Kamlager, Assemblymembers Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Mike Gipson, Autumn Burke and Isaac Bryan, LAUSD 1, George McKenna, Pat Harvey, CBS2/KCAL9 Anchor and Law Firm: Ivie, McNeill, Wyatt, Purcell & Diggs.

This will be a special and bittersweet TOS this year as this will be Garcetti’s last festival as mayor. He and other elected officials plan be on site from 10:30 am – 11:00 a.m. to hand out food and gift cards to families in cars. 

This year’s TOS partners include The Bakewell Company, the Los Angeles Sentinel, Mothers in Action, Brotherhood Crusade, the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, Radio Free KJLH 102.3 FM, 94.7 the WAVE and CBS2/KCAL9.

Proud Sponsors include Metro, Chase Bank, SEIU 2015, California Teachers Association/UTLA, LADWP, Metropolitan Water District, South Coast AQMD, Kaiser Permanente, LA County, Bank of America, Cedars-Sinai, Airbnb, City National Bank, Community Build, LA World Airports, US Bank, Westfield, Boeing, AT&T, Dodgers Foundation, Acts Inspired by Mookie (AIM), Disney, Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation and Lee Andrews Group.  Other partners include The LA Food Bank, the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, Labor Community Services, UDW, AFGE, Teamsters Black Caucus, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Able Solutions, Quality Equipment Rentals, National Action Network of Los Angeles and Orange County, Avenues of Life, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Black Women’s Democratic Club, SEIU 721, SEIU 2015.   Sponsors and partners are found on www.tasteofsoul.org.

Special thanks for groceries provided by: The LA Food Bank & Community Build.  Hot meals provided by: Dulan’s on Crenshaw, Hotville Chicken, Earle’s on Crenshaw, Mel’s Fish, The District by GS, Chef Marilyn’s Soul Food Kitchen and Harold & Belle’s.

Taste of Soul has welcomed millions of people throughout the years to enjoy the family festival and looks forward to being back on Crenshaw Boulevard in 2022 celebrating with great entertainment, food, and fun. 

In 2020, the 15th Annual Taste of Soul kept everyone safely at home watching the festival online and provided entertainment and positive community messaging to everyone during an uncertain time. The drive-thru event saw an endless line of cars receive food and produce delivered by masked volunteers observing social distancing.  We look forward to serving our community safely again this year.

Taste of Soul is about the community, about the people and as long as there is a community, there will be a Taste of Soul. In addition to the other offerings, attendees will receive gift bags, gift cards, distribution of materials to promote COVID-19 vaccines, COVID testing and tickets to purchase hot meals from local restaurants. 

Food and other items will be distributed on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis (while supplies last).


‘Day of Service & Soul’ to the community is a COVID-19 safe event, so please remember to mask-up and stay in your cars.  Due to limited resources and safety measures, walk-ups are not permitted. 

“Thank you for all of your support of Taste of Soul,” said Bakewell. “You have turned us into a community institution that is second to none.”

Category: Community