Chicago has a history of resiliency at the hands of small communities, pockets of neighbors, and small businesses lending a helping hand for a fellow in need. Part of our Midwestern mentality extends to hospitality, caring for those who need it, assisting those who ask for it, and providing a hot meal for anyone hungry. The modern-day adaption of this sensibility has dug deeper to address catalytic pain points for humans (or pets) in need. Offering ongoing support through commerce pledges, one to one donations, and hyper-focused support to topical groups or minorities in need. Chicago isn’t just the city with Midwestern charm, it’s a city that puts its money where its mouth is as one of the most influential food capitals of America. The marriage of support through businesses within the food and beverage industry just made sense. Luckily for all of us, the rewards continue to reep benefits well past the first bite, sip, or swallow. Below are a handful, but by no means a comprehensive list, of Chicago hot spots that give back.
Sip of Hope Coffee Bar is Hope For The Day’s very own classic coffee shop that serves drinks and baked goods with 100% of the proceeds going to mental health education. Hope For The Day is Chicago’s prominent mental health non-profit organization whose mission is to prevent suicide, with their ‘It’s OK to not be OK’ mantra spreading fast and far quickly.
The 50/Fifty in West Town is working with the Chicago Restaurant Workers Relief Center to provide as many as 750 free meals and grocery bags a day to impacted workers. When the 50/Fifty had suffered a loss of business during the pandemic they took it upon themselves to feed those that had been laid off in the restaurant industry and took it a step farther to feed those that were just struggling to be fed.
West Town Bakery & Diner is giving essentials and groceries to restaurant workers right now. Workers will need to present their ID as well as proof of employment for the service industry. A pay stub will suffice.
Goose Island‘s “Buck a Barrel” program donates money for each barrel of Green Line sold to the Trust for Public Lands and the 606 Trail. Now that the beer is sold nationwide and is available in bottles and cans, that draft-only efficiency has been lost, but it’s made up for by the sale of more beer. This has allowed the Goose sustainability team to donate more money to the Alliance for the Great Lakes as well as the ongoing Green Line giving program.
Lao Sze Chuan Restaurant not only known for its DELICIOUS spicy chicken but also its kindness is participating in the Meals of Love program. This program donates meals to frontline workers.
Dusek’s in Pilsen are offering a pay what you can meal program to families in need. They are also having this program made available through pick up.
Paradise Park in Wicker Park is offering 50% off of patron’s meals if they come in with protective gear. All of which they are donating to front line workers.
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