The money raised from the soul food dinner goes to support CCBC operations, like the summer food program that helps feed students when they're out of school, CCBC President Tawny Brown said.

Good food and a good cause drew the community to Rural Street on Saturday for the Concerned Citizens for a Better Community Soul Food Dinner.

This was the 39th year the CCBC has hosted the soul food fundraiser at the Sumner School on Rural Street. The building served as the segregated school for Boonville’s black students from when the Sumner School on Spruce Street was converted into apartments in 1940 until Boonville schools were finally desegregated in 1959.

The Concerned Citizens for the Black Community bought the building in 1986, and it has served as a community center since then. The CCBC was renamed the Concerned Citizens for a Better Community in 2011.

Usually held in the school’s gymnasium in February, the severe winter weather forced some changes. The flat roof over the gymnasium was damaged over the winter, forcing the fundraiser into the dining room, CCBC President Tawny Brown said.

The weather finally cooperated on Saturday, and the community showed up to support the CCBC and get their fix of country cooking, with cars lining both sides of Rural Street around noon.

For a $10 donation, hungry supporters took a plate and helped themselves to steaming trays of pork steaks, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, cornbread and greens. The way the foods are prepared is what makes them distinct, Brown said.

“They’re foods that are unique to African-American culture, and, I would say, to country living,” Brown said.

The money raised from the soul food dinner goes to support CCBC operations, like the summer food program that helps feed students when they’re out of school, Brown said.

bcrowley@gatehousemedia.com