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Wage war with a fork: A Detroit woman's mission to feed the city

Wage war with a fork: A Detroit woman's mission to feed the city
Wage war with a fork: A Detroit woman's mission to feed the city 03:20

(CBS DETROIT) - Harriette Brown, or "Chef Bee," is doing what she has done every Wednesday for nearly a decade. She's taking time to prepare meals to help feed people in need.

"I can't see you hungry, and I have food and don't give you none or at least offer you some," she said.

Her passion for cooking has become a mission to serve, fighting back against food insecurity in Detroit one meal at a time.

"I'm doing the lord's work," Chef Bee said.

Chef Bee is using food to help heal people in the city. Because, ultimately, it's what saved her.

"I got pneumonia. It had me on steroids. I went from a size 20 to 24 in a week," she said.

She was hospitalized for over a month. And changing her diet to become a vegan is what helped her recover.

Now, Chef Bee has her own catering company called Sisters on a Roll Mobile Café. Even as she juggles her business, she still finds time to give back, using extra food from the business and donations to support the homeless and anyone who needs a meal.

Chef Bee says it's about showing people you care and giving them a better tomorrow.

"It's not charity. It's solidarity," she said.

There are nearly 6,000 homeless people in Detroit, according to the latest numbers from the Homeless Action network.

Chef Bee has served the homeless for decades, but she started serving food to many of them downtown at the Rosa Parks Transit Center eight years ago.

It's where she provides at least 300 meals every single week. Chef Bee says she has yet to miss a day.

"As you can see, it's a need, so this is me meeting a need," she said while people lined up to get her food," she said. 

And what Chef Bee has learned is that she's not only serving homeless people but even people with jobs who may not have enough money for a bite to eat.

The issue of food security is something she says is impacting so many people across the city, and the people who line up to get food from her every week are just one example.

"There's no reason to have lack of water, lack of food. That should not be happening here. This is proof," she said.

Chef Bee hopes her willingness to help others inspires Detroiters to do the same because hunger is a problem she can't solve alone.

She says the only way to fix it is together.

"As long as it [food insecurity] exists and the lord gives me strength, I'm going to keep doing it because this is how I wage war with a fork," she said.

You can find Chef Bee or the volunteers she partners with every Wednesday at the transit center passing out food.

She also does business through her company on 1004 West Seven Mile Road at Pillar and Pride every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

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