Community | Spotlight November 2020

By The Hand Club For Kids

Bounce salutes community organizations, activists and everyday neighborhood heroes like the By The Hand Club For Kids for its efforts to come up with solutions to their neighborhood’s food challenges.

A liquor store in Austin on the West Side of Chicago has been transformed into a pop-up food market after local teens were given the chance to come up with solutions to their neighborhood’s challenges.


According to Block Club Chicago, much of Austin is considered to be a food desert. The pop-up market opened on a street where there are 12 liquor stores nearby but only two markets where people can buy fresh food.

That’s when the members of By The Hand Club For Kids held listening circles after the George Floyd protests against police violence. Young people got to voice their feelings around the inequity that led to the lack of resources in their neighborhoods. They said they were frustrated the few grocery stores in the area had to shut their doors temporarily after being looted.

“What I heard coming out of that was that students wanted to take all those raw and powerful emotions and turn them into something good and do something from a social justice standpoint,” said Donnita Travis, executive director of the group.  When presented with the chance to transform one of the looted stores into a resource for the community, “the kids took the idea and ran with it,” Travis said.

The project was also joined by local athletes, including the NFL’s Sam Acho, who wanted to help realize the young people’s vision for their neighborhood. Acho and the other athletes raised $500,000 to tear down the liquor store at 423 N. Laramie Ave. and turn the spot into a neighborhood food resource.

The new fresh food market is up and running.  That is good news!  Congratulations to the By The Hand Club For Kids. A fine community minded organization.

Sources/Image Credit:,, Chicago Tribune,, CBS Chicago