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Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19 and LGBTQ news
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-04-20

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—Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Chicago Cubs owners Tom and Laura Ricketts for a visit to a new Lakeview Pantry satellite site at Wrigley Field. The temporary site will support the Pantry in keeping up with the increased number of residents seeking food assistance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 16, visitors to Lakeview Pantry's food programs have increased by more than 140 percent and its social services programs have risen by 30 percent.

—In an effort to pay it forward to essential workers throughout Chicago, Jet's Pizza, known for its Detroit-style pizza, is launching a new "Buy A Pizza, Give A Pizza" initiative for guests. For every large, regularly priced pizza purchased from select Jet's Pizza's Chicago locations on Mondays and Tuesdays through the end of April, the local stores will donate a pizza to one of the following organizations: Rush University Medical Center, University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, Illinois Masonic Hospital, Roseland Hospital, Ingalls Hospital, Common Pantry, Metropolitan Family Services, One Patient-Global Health Initiative, Catholic Charities and more. See JetsPizza.com .

—AgeOptions received a grant from The Chicago Community Trust to expand its Thrive with Pride Cafes—a unique program for older LGBT+ older adults and caregivers. AgeOptions already has funding for five cafe sites, and the grant makes it possible to add at least four additional sites.

—World Central Kitchen ( WCK ) announced it is working with legendary Chicago chef Charlie Trotter's non-profit, The Trotter Project ( www.thetrotterproject.org/ ) as well as chefs from across the city—including Food Network's Vegas Chef Prizefight winner Lamar Moore, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, DineAmic Hospitality's chefs Fabio Viviani and Katsuji Tanabe, Michelin-starred chef Carlos Gaytan of Tzuco restaurant, Feast and Imbibe's D'Andre Carter and Heather Bublick, and more—to feed families in Chicago's hard-hit communities while also helping to keep restaurant workers employed.

The collaborative partnership has distributed nearly 2,000 individually packed grab-and-go meals to families in Chicago's hard-hit Englewood neighborhood. The program has begun with The Montessori School of Englewood, in Chicago's West Englewood community; families will be able to pick up meals from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the school.

—On behalf of the hospitality industry and more than 5,500 supporters who have signed the Change.org petition to help the industry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Hospitality Coalition launched Cocktails For Hope, an initiative advocating for the sale of pre-mixed cocktails to-go in containers sealed by on-premise, license-holding establishments in the state of Illinois. Cocktails For Hope is asking Illinoisans to contact their representatives and help enact immediate change. For more information, visit CcocktailsForHope.org or Instagram @cocktailsforhope.

—Blake's Hard Cider, the Midwest's largest craft cidery, is offering craft cider fans the convenience of purchasing ciders online and shipped directly to their home anywhere nationwide, Baker City Herald noted. The new online shipping coincides with BHC's Rainbow Seeker ( a pineapple semi-sweet cider ), which is being released for the third time this April. Blake's has partnered again with the nonprofit the LGBT National Hotline; funds raised from Rainbow Seeker merchandise sales will support its mission. See BlakesHardCider.com/delivery .


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