To address food insecurity Chicago residents are facing in the wake of COVID-19, Common Threads, Top Box Foods and Mariano’s are teaming up with local restaurateurs and food companies to deliver family meals and grocery boxes for 250 residents per week. Distribution began the week of April 6 and will continue through at least the week of May 11.
To produce the family meals, Common Threads brought on a few of their supporting chefs including, Chef Bill Kim of urbanbelly, Chef Kevin Hickey of The Duck Inn, Chef Josh Katt of KitchFix, and Chef Paul Hitalenko of Huegah Catering Company. Resulting in an opportunity to give back while also earning income to keep some of their staff employed.
Each delivery contains a chef-prepared meal for the entire household, plus fresh produce and proteins selected by the family. Boxes will contain Common Threads recipes and meal plans to provide guidance on preparing easy, affordable and nutritious meals.
As part of the kickoff for the program, chefs prepared an additional 250 special meals for hospitality employees who are now unemployed, health care workers from Rush University Medical Center and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, and outpatients from Rush who are facing food insecurity.
The family meal initiative is supported through in-kind donations of food product from Sysco and Allen Brothers, and donations from Mariano’s and Common Threads’ individual donors. Top Box Foods is underwriting the cost of the groceries and delivery service.
Common Threads is accepting donations for the program on its website, www.commonthreads.org/donate. Chefs and sponsors who would like to participate or are seeking more information can contact Stephanie Folkens, SFolkens@commonthreads.org.