Raheem D

DMV Cake Man, Antoine E. Lee, presents a sheet cake to Grammy-nominated, recording artist and LoveLife Foundation founder, Raheem DeVaughn, at Sunday Soul DC on April 3. (Photo by Corinne L. Hollis)

Fried green tomatoes stuffed with herb cheese. Shrimp, chicken, and sausage jambalaya with white chocolate bread pudding were just some of the items on the menu at “Sunday Soul DC,” a one-of-a-kind pop-up dinner experience at the New York Avenue Men’s Shelter in Northeast, D.C. on April 3.

The event was hosted by Grammy-nominated recording artist and LoveLife Foundation Founder, Raheem DeVaughn, Black Celebrity Giving Founder Jasmine Crowe, and community activist Tony Lewis, Jr. More than 300 homeless Washingtonians were served at the event. Crowe created “Sunday Soul” in 2013 in Atlanta.

“I wanted them to sit down, get served, and feel special,” Crowe told the AFRO. “I wanted them to feel like a person again.”

The meals were served by chefs from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, including Angel Anderson of Spice Suite; JR Robinson and Deanna Dawson of KitchenCray; Jordan, the 24/7 Chef; Saon Brice of Mache Fine Catering; Shannon Tchuimeni of Bstro To Go; Brazil Murphy, the Spyce Chef; Ronald Reaves of A Touch of Class Personal Catering; and Antoine E. Lee of ProCakes, the DMV Cake Man.

“Everyone needs to be here giving back,” said Jordan when asked why he participated in the weekend event. “If we don’t give back to our community, then who will?”

Also on hand were 60 volunteers and 10 celebrity and master barbers, salons owners, and instructors from across D.C. giving out free cuts and shape-ups. The AKOMA Foundation, a local D.C.-based organization, provided bags of toiletries, essential items, and snacks to each attendee.

Homelessness in D.C. is up 11 percent since 2011, and a new plan by Mayor Muriel Bowser to close D.C. General and open new facilities across the district is mired in controversy. The second round of community-wide meetings to discuss the Mayor’s plan are set to start the week of April 3.

Crowe plans on holding unique pop-up dining events in metropolitan areas across the country. The next “Sunday Soulwill be held at the 2016 Essence Festival, June 30-July 3, in New Orleans, Louisiana.