CHICAGO As community members in Greater Grand Crossing gathered for a meal to feed the soul, organizer Vondale Singleton has grown his non-profit CHAMPS into a force for good.

“Where it’s not just about eating physical food, it’s about being nourished mentally and spiritually as well,” Singleton said.

Singleton’s non-profit pairs Chicago’s youth with adults for mentorship, aiming to grow success on the South Side and beyond.

“Often we hear about gangs, guns and violence, and yet we’re able to come together, have a meal, laugh, live, learn and empower our communities through the Soul Food Saturday,” Singleton said.

Soul Food Saturday brings all the aspects of community under one roof, with a goal of inspiring the younger generation by sharing lessons of the past and present.

“We don’t want to forget what our ancestors have done. We don’t want to forget what people are doing to make positive history even today,” Singleton said.

It’s one way of paying it forward to mentor and engage the future leaders of Chicago.