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Monique Williams-McCoy

“I'm a seed starter”

2021 Neighbor

All Photos Courtesy of Jehan LLC Photography

My Story

Monique Williams-McCoy grew up in Columbus but learned to farm by visiting her grandparents in North Carolina. “I grew up in Columbus, but everything that we done was from a little town in North Carolina, and we worked a farm and I worked the farm. I was 16 you know, so when everybody else was roller skating here in Columbus in the summertime Monique was working tobacco.” With the strong support system of her grandparents, mother, and sister, Monique and her family are inspiring and encouraging each other to help others every step of the way.

Monique serves as the marketing manager for the Local Matters Veggie Van, and uses her food to intercede and bless her community in every way possible. She takes the time to cook for others, upon request or just when she is able, and will pass out hot cooked meals that the community loves. “I just love to cook. I love to cook. 2020 was a horrible year for me. I lost my son back in 2017, and then I had four major deaths in 2020. I can tell you selfishly, whenever I feel like I'm getting into a place of depression, I cook. One thing I have is the skill of cooking a lot of food and cooking it quickly to feed people. If I'm getting into that point of depression, I go feed random people. I'll make the plates and it sounds kind of weird for somebody to pull up in their white pickup truck and say ‘Hey did you eat today! Come over and get this food.’”

Monique recalls a conversation she had with one of her church sons who detailed the impact and symbolism that her table has in the community. “He came and said to me one day, ‘do you know how many people have eaten at this table?’ And I was like, ‘No, I don’t think about it’ but he said ‘Really think about it. We can't even count how many people that had a really huge table that was for 10 people. Do you know how many meals and people really sat at this table?’” She couldn’t recall the exact number, he was able to put it into perspective “That's such a compliment. Because some people will be like about six of us at our table, but there's been hundreds of people have come in here and sat at this table”. That's what you want in life. You want people to want to come and sit at your table”.
Monique has been blessed but still has one wish. “That wish would definitely be to have food access to everyone who needs good food to make their bodies healthy, and strong. And keep our kids smart. Because along with having grocery stores in those areas, you create jobs. You create community, you create wealth, you create health, you create people who have a first chance and first job with that pride. So if I could do anything that would definitely be putting grocery stores, all the communities for people to have access, and also had the resources to buy the access point. Food is really important to me. It is it really is”.

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