Almeta Crayton was born on December 12, 1959 to Coleen Crayton and Earnest Herman East in St. Louis, MO. Growing up, Almeta lived with her grandparents, Louis and Almeta East. Almeta received her elementary education in St. Louis Public School system and later graduated from Northwest High School in 1979. After her graduation from high school, Almeta studied Health and Human Services at Florissant Valley Community College in St. Louis, and later attended Northwest Missouri State University.
In 1990, Almeta gave birth to her son, Tyrone, after moving from St. Louis to Jefferson City. She was a single mother and poverty stricken and she had no plans or means of finding a hot meal for her and her newborn child. After leaving the hospital, the doctors and nurses on the post-partum ward decided to join together and bring a meal to Almeta and young Tyrone. Upon arriving at her home, Almeta realized that she had been blessed and wanted to share that blessing as she knew others living near her had nothing to eat either. Almeta opened her doors to her community and her neighbors and it was that day that the first Everyone Eats took place.
At the time of his birth, Tyrone was premature and had many health problems throughout his first few years. Two years after he was born, Almeta moved with Tyrone to Columbia to seek better healthcare for him. She lived in Columbia's First Ward and immediately saw a need for change within the inner city community which suffered from poverty and a lack of representation in the city's government. Almeta ran for councilwoman of the First Ward and was defeated once before her landslide victory in 1999, propelling her to become Columbia's first black councilwoman at the age of 39.
Almeta served three terms as councilwoman and during that time she devoted much of her work to creating a safer environment for youth in Columbia and to closing the economic gap as a self-proclaimed representative of the poor. Almeta organized many events including her most well-known Everyone Eats Community Dinner, Poor People's Breakfast, and numerous back-to-school events to help families in need purchase school supplies. She was involved in organizing youth community service projects all over the city and she often worked within the public school system at West Boulevard Elementary as well as Gentry Middle School.
On October 21, 2013, Surrounded by her friends and family, Almeta passed on to glory while she was a patient at Boone Hospital Center. The legacy that she leaves behind will forever be felt in the hearts and in the lives of Columbia Missourians. Her generosity and her incomparable spirit inspired the founding of Almeta Crayton's Community Programs, following her passing in 2013. The memory of Almeta as well as her vision and purpose are at the core of ACCP's mission. Her word of self-improvement through honesty, character, respect, and trust remains an integral part of her organization and will continue to drive its mission of community helping community into the future.