CHICAGO (TOC) — The festive spirit is alive and nicely at twenty seventh and Lawndale within the Little Village neighborhood, and with good purpose.
“60623 was the toughest hit by the pandemic for 14 months,” stated Matt DeMateo, government director of New Life Facilities. “Battling COVID, battling violence… so after we see an area like this, it is such a burst of hope.”
Thursday marked the grand opening of New Life Facilities’ Pan de Vida, or Bread of Life, Meals Pantry. One of many first meals pantry volunteers minimize the ribbon hand-in-hand with the brand new technology main the mission to carry meals and dignity to the neighborhood.
“Meals is the hook, it is the open door, however then our secret sauce is the connection, is the neighborhood,” DeMateo stated. “We have now case administration providers, mentoring, after college schooling, sports activities peacemaking. So all these issues are included within the package deal.”
DeMateo stated his meals pantry staff went from serving 100 households per week pre-pandemic to six,000 households.
Now, they’re feeding an estimated 30,000 folks per week, together with Margarita Márquez.
“I proceed to learn from the meals pantry as costs have gone up and I can use my cash on different important issues,” Márquez stated.
Organizers say on the top of the pandemic there have been a whole bunch of meals pallets stacked exterior to fulfill the necessity. They simply did not have the house. However over the previous 18 months, New Life Facilities, in partnership with the Larger Chicago Meals Depository, renovated a former nook retailer and turned it a state-of-the-art meals pantry with recent produce, dry items, and every part to fulfill the necessity right here in La Villita.
The mission, DeMateo stated, is led primarily by folks 18 to 24 years previous.
“Thank God that we have now a constructing and we’re giving again to the folks,” stated 20-year-old operations supervisor Alex Ramon.
“Hope has a brand new deal with,” stated Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who attended the ribbon slicing occasion. “I like that, and it is one thing frankly we have to maintain on to as a metropolis.”
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