Lakeview Pantry Partners with Local Organizations to Address Hunger and COVID-19 Restaurant Layoffs
CHICAGO – April 3, 2020 – Lakeview Pantry, Chicago’s largest food pantry, has partnered with the Lavin Family Foundation and Cubs Charities to address food insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. #FeeditForward, created by the Lavin Family Foundation, is an innovative initiative that uses grant funds provided by Lavin and Cubs Charities to purchase chef-prepared boxed meals from local restaurants: Ann Sather, 4 Star Restaurants (Crosby’s and Smoke Daddy), Munster Restaurant Group (Lady Gregory’s), Four Corners Bars (Ranalli’s) and the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group (West Town Bakery). The meals are delivered by Lakeview Pantry (LVP) to LVP clients and multiple other social service agencies serving low-income residents and seniors throughout Chicagoland, including Thresholds, The Kindness Campaign, La Casa Norte, New Moms, and Centers for New Horizons.
The purpose of the program is twofold – to not only feed Chicago’s vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 outbreak, but to also invest in the city’s restaurant industry which has experienced massive financial losses and layoffs due to forced closure.
“We are honored to have the ability to do something we know we do well – feeding our neighbors in need – while also doing something to stimulate the local economy and put our restaurants back to work,” said Lakeview Pantry CEO Kellie O’Connell. “We are so grateful to the Lavin Foundation and Cubs Charities for funding this innovative response during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s through the support from our valued partners that we can make programs like this a reality.”
The program begins this week with plans to run every day through the end of April. 7,000 – 10,000 meals will be prepared and delivered during that timeframe. The menu changes weekly and varies by restaurant, but all meals are prepared with healthy, fresh ingredients designed to offer clients a balanced dinner.
“I would like to personally thank the Lavin Family Foundation and Cubs Charities for their generous grants that make it possible to help those in need,” said Doug Dunlay of 4 Star Restaurants. “They not only allow us to give back to our community, but they are helping keep our staff employed. We are honored to be a part of this incredible opportunity.”
“Ann Sather is honored to be a participant in this vital effort to ensure the most vulnerable among us are served nutritious, well-balanced meals during this time of uncertainty,” said Tom Tunney, owner of Ann Sather Restaurants and Cafés. “We want to thank the Lavin Foundation and Cubs Charities for graciously stepping up to the plate and ensuring that funding was available for this important program.”
The Lavin Family Foundation is encouraging others to join its effort and continue the momentum of the initiative.
“The Foundation is excited to help keep restaurants in business while feeding those in need,” said Carol Lavin Bernick. “Our goal is to inspire others to donate – even a $10 donation provides a meal to someone in need!”
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important now more than ever for our community to support one another during these difficult times,” said Cubs Charities Executive Director Alicia Gonzalez. “As a member of the Lakeview community, Cubs Charities is proud to contribute to these efforts and support our neighborhood restaurants and those experiencing food insecurity across Chicago.”
Lakeview Pantry is committed to serving Chicago’s most vulnerable populations during this heartbreaking time. Its critical food assistance programs are a lifeline to many residents in the city. The need for food continues to grow with LVP currently serving 50% more clients each week. For information on food assistance programs and how to donate or volunteer, please visit www.lakeviewpantry.org.
About Lakeview Pantry
Since 1970, Lakeview Pantry has provided nutritious groceries and essential social services to residents in Chicago. Its mission is to eliminate hunger in the community by providing food to fill the basic needs of hungry people, by empowering clients to gain independence through social service programs, and by raising awareness of hunger and poverty. On a yearly basis, the Pantry distributed over 1.7 million meals through 50,000 site visits.
About the Lavin Family Foundation
The Lavin Family Foundation was created over 50 years ago by the family that founded the Alberto Culver Company to fund groups working in health care, education and programs designed to better family life. Today the Foundation, directed by the second and third family generations under the banner of “Innovative Philanthropy at Work”, has continued and deepened that focus while creating new, entrepreneurial initiatives that extend its passion and reach beyond traditional funding channels. Other examples of their innovative practices are exemplified through Enchanted Backpack, CC’s Wish List and the CAST Water Safety Foundation.
About Cubs Charities
Cubs Charities harnesses the passion of Cubs fans to improve the lives of children and families across Chicago and beyond. Cubs Charities’ goal is to provide increased access to sports opportunities and targets improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Through grants to quality nonprofit programs, development of parks and baseball fields, and other community initiatives, the Cubs and Cubs Charities help fulfill a commitment to be the best in the game, on and off the field. For more information, visit www.cubscharities.org.