When drivers turn off Highway 75 and circle around to 18th Street, Minnie’s Food Pantry stands just to the right. The pantry, now 12 years old, has served about 14 million meals.
The organization was named after Pastor Minnie Hawthorne-Ewing. A longtime resident of Plano, Hawthorne-Ewing died in 2015. But her daughter, Cheryl “Action” Jackson, has a plan to ensure her mother’s name lives forever in the city.
As of Thursday morning, an online petition asking the city of Plano to change 18th Street to “Minnie’s Way,” has just over 280 signatures.
“She deserves this and so does Plano,” a supporter of the petition wrote.
Hawthorne-Ewing would have turned 75 this year.
Jackson said the idea for the street name change came after seeing schools and buildings named after other community pillars.
“I said for my birthday I would like anybody whose lives we have touched or knows anything about Minnie's Food Pantry to help me to get my mother's name on one of the street signs in this wonderful city,” she said.
For Jackson, it was her mother’s servant attitude that inspired her and others to follow in her footsteps. “She's the driving force as to how we do things,” Jackson said. “Long after she's gone, we are still demanding the same thing that she demanded from us when we serve our community.”
Jackson said Hawthorne-Ewing embraced the culture of Plano wholeheartedly. She even considered joining the city’s police force.
“She lived in Plano, she died in Plano – she loved this city,” she said. “She wanted to be one of the community police officers to patrol the city.”
After her birthday in August, Jackson plans to close the online petition and take up her cause with City Council. Seeing her mother’s name on a street sign would be monumental, Jackson said.
“To pull up on her street, that would just warm my heart every single day and it would take away some of the pain that I see from people needing food,” she said.
To view the petition, visit change.org/minniesway