The smell of delicious soul food filled the room as fans entered Certified #RamsHouse and Inglewood staple, The Serving Spoon, to receive a free meal courtesy of the Rams in partnership with Pepsi’s Dig In program designed to support Black-owned restaurants and the people behind them.
"It's great to see organizations such as the Rams and Pepsi, very large and prominent organizations throughout the world, do something on the grassroots level at this frequency. It's something that is just wonderful," said J.C. Johnson, co-owner of The Serving Spoon. "We are happy that we have been chosen and selected to be a part of this epic undertaking."
Epic it was. On Thursday, Jan. 6, leading up to the Rams Inspire Change game against the San Francisco 49ers, The Serving Spoon provided 250 free meals to Rams fans and Inglewood residents. The event supported the Rams Inspire Change efforts, which focused on creating solutions that address community barriers and highlight moments in the Rams' history that have inspired change on and off the field. Launched in 2019, Inspire Change is a league-wide platform that showcases the collaborative efforts of players, owners and the NFL to create positive change in communities across the country.
The Serving Spoon is the longest-running full-service restaurant in Inglewood, celebrating its 39th anniversary this year. "The Spoon", as often called by many, has always been a place where customers feel like family. For years, The Serving Spoon has cherished its relationship with the community by giving back in numerous ways. The sense of community was evident as customers arrived with smiles and left full of "food that's good for the soul."
For the past few years, the Rams have supported The Serving Spoon in a variety of ways.
"I have to start with Johnathan Franklin," J.C. attested. "Andrew Whitworth, Big Whit, love you. He and his wife actually reached out to us during the height of the pandemic and donated $50,000 to help us along the way. Last but not least, Sebastian Joseph-Day Sebastian Joseph-Day, who has been the spokesperson for this wonderful epic event. It has just been over the top and overwhelming with the outreach that the Rams organization has shown us. Those within that organization really move beyond symbolism and show the true substance of what it is to be about community and the people thank them, our staff thanks them, my wife and I thank them."
Throughout the year and as part of Inspire Change, the Rams will continue to recognize individuals who are doing critical work in the community to address education disparities, food and housing insecurity, criminal justice reform and community-police relations.
Through Pepsi Dig In, PepsiCo has committed $50 million over five years to help set Black restauranteurs up for success. As part of the initiative, PepsiCo advises owners on how to access capital, how to set up a successful delivery operation, how to use marketing tools to make their presence known and more.
To learn more about the Rams' community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.