Chicago Mutual Aid Efforts Provide Support for Food Insecure Communities

While COVID-19 vaccines are well within reach, this pandemic has taken a toll on our communities, especially here in Chicago. But the community response has also grown to meet the existing and additional needs that emerged from the pandemic. If you are able, here at 606 Movers, we recommend supporting the Love Fridge. Accessible 24/7, this initiative seeks to feed vulnerable communities through mutual aid and food donations. Above all, it bolsters the idea that access to food is not a privilege but a right. Easily recognizable by their bright colored refrigerators, typically decorated by local artists, the Love Fridge creates a stigma-free alternative for those facing food insecurity. This last year has been extremely tough for everyone but no one should have to go hungry. Similar initiates are taking root throughout the country so we definitely recommend finding other programs wherever you live.

For those interested and able, here are food donation options that are always welcome and needed as well as protocols during COVID-19, as stated on the Love Fridge website;

Best Products to Donate

Sealed packaged foods
Fresh fruit
Fresh vegetables
Table sauces
Unopened pasteurized milk and yogurt
Unopened fruit juices
Fresh eggs (with a use-by date)
Cured meats (in a sealed container with a use-by date)

Products Not Recommended

Raw meat
Raw fish
Raw milk cheeses
Unlabelled multi-ingredient items
Half-eaten leftovers


Please wear a mask and ensure that your hands are clean if you intend on accessing the fridge.

Avoid unnecessary contact with food items to prevent contamination.

If you notice food has gone bad or packaging has been compromised, please throw it away.

Check use-by dates on food products. Discard out-of-date food and do not consume prepared food after seven days.

Please put new donations towards the back of the shelves so that food gets eaten in the order it is donated.

Please do not donate anything that you would not personally consume.

If you noticed or cause a spill, please clean up after yourself whenever possible.

If you notice that the fridge needs cleaning, maintenance, or is above 41°F, please get in touch via email at thelovefridgechicago@gmail.com.


Please review our list of accepted and not accepted foods.

Any food in packages or containers must be in good condition and protect the integrity of the contents so that the food is not exposed to adulteration or potential contaminants.

Prepare food with mask & gloves and follow standardized food safety guidelines.

Prepared food should be labeled with all ingredients and dated from the day of preparation. Prepared food will be discarded after seven days.

Locations Throughout the City

Honey Love
3361 N Elston Ave
Located behind Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Back of the Yards
Star Farm
5155 S Wolcott Ave

Port Ministries
5017 S Hermitage Ave

Belmont Cragin
Bidi Bidi Nom Nom at Hangry’s
5000 W Fullerton Ave

The Fridge on Marz
3630 S Iron St

Brighton Park
Oasis de Yum at La Roca
2959 W Pershing Rd

Sacred Keepers
Thursday & Friday 12 — 4
4445 S King Dr

East Side
The Kindness Korner
11201 S Ave G

Getting Grown Collective
6344 S Morgan St

Grand Boulevard
Behind Last Lap Corner Store at Boxville
332 E 51st St

Humboldt Park
Dirt Farms
3419 North Ave
Alley behind Humboldt’s Used Books

Little Village
3724 W 26th St

The Love Shack
2751 W 21st St

Logan Square
The Dill’s Chiller
At the Dill Pickle Food Co-op
8am–9pm or during store hours (subject to change for holidays or as necessary)
2746 N Milwaukee Ave

Toda Amor
Carniceria La Mejor
2915 N Milwaukee Ave

North Lawndale
Stone Temple Fridge
3622 W Douglas Blvd

Palmer Square
Blnk [Food] Bank
3206 W Armitage Ave

Comida Para el Pueblo
1855 S Blue Island Ave

South Shore
2465 E 74th St

Ukrainian Village
True Love Fridge at Takorea Cocina
Tuesday–Sunday 11am — 9pm
1022 N Western Ave

West Lawn
El Refri de la Vida
Monday — Friday 7AM — 2PM
and 5PM — 8PM
Saturday 8AM — 12PM
Sunday 9AM — 12PM
4215 W 59th St

Good Neighbor Love Fridge
6601 S Pulaski Rd

Chicago is opening up but we are not out of the clear just yet. If you’re eager to get out of your home but weary about public spaces, a park might be the best option for you. It is important to note that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is lower outdoors. Just keep in mind that playgrounds are not yet available for use. We’ve included a list of our favorite park destinations to keep in mind if you want to explore the city while also being safe. But please, do wear a mask! 

  • The 606 Trail – 1805 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

The 606 is a local favorite and our namesake! It’s a fun elevated trail that gives you a great glimpse of neighborhoods like Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown. 

  • Garfield Park – 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624

While the conservatory is closed, the outer park is open and available for exploring. 

  • Humboldt Park – 1400 N Humboldt Dr, Chicago, IL 60622

This historic park is a must for Chicago residents. It features a boathouse and beautifully designed lagoon and river. 

  • Jackson Park – 6401 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Jackson Park is another magnificent historic green space. It was the site of World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and it was designed by famous landscape architects like Frederick Law Olmsted. It’s sprawling and features a Japanese Garden and lagoons. 

  • The Lakefront Trail

The lakefront trail also opened up earlier this week but keep in mind, it will be a popular destination. If you want fewer people, we recommend visiting the other parks listed first. 

Stay safe and enjoy the sun! 

While the city and most of the country is opening back up, it’s important we don’t forget that this is still an unusual and difficult time. Covid-19 is still here, in our communities and jobs are just now opening up. Chicago is not only struggling to find a new routine but many are struggling how to make ends meet and feed themselves and their families. The protests around the city have also caused many stores to board up and have left communities, particularly on the South and West sides, without consistent food access. All of these factors should remind us just how important community is and how we should help others if and when we can. We’ve created a list of organizations that are available for food donations and distribution. This is not exhaustive. There are many resources available throughout the city but this can be a starting point. We hope that if you are financially able, you’ll donate. Or if you’re in need, you’ll find a location near you. 

Greater Chicago Food Depository 

Chicago Public Schools Meal Sites

A Just Harvest – Rogers Park 

Lakeview Pantry – Lakeview 

Pilsen Food Pantry – Pilsen 

Shepards Hope – Englewood

Chicago Family Pairing Program – “This is a program looking to pair families on the Northside who have access to these stores to pair up with families on the South and West sides and can deliver groceries to these areas. OnTheGround Chicago will be covering the full cost of these groceries using donated funds.”

Brave Space Alliance – This is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago, and they offer food pantry options. 

Stay Safe!

Your Chicago Movers – 606 Movers Inc

We have featured this bookstore/gallery in previous blog posts but Semicolon deserves a post all their own. Located in Fulton Market, it’s easy to simply characterize this area for it’s trendy restaurants and high-end retailers. It is also the home of Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery. Opened in 2016 and led by DL Mullen, it is the only Black Woman-owned bookstore in Chicago. In May, they raised funds to provide free books for CPS students stuck at home and have now become a hub for food donations and distribution for those affected by grocery store closures and CPS suspending food services. When you support Black-owned businesses, you not only support the individuals but the community, our communities as well. They are an inspiration and deserve boundless support. 

So if you are interested in anti-racist and decolonization texts, make sure you check out Semicolon first. Now is the time to listen, learn, and take action where and when you can. We’ve included important texts to consider as we move forward, both fiction and non-fiction. Be sure to support Black-owned businesses and black writers now, but we must support them in the long run. We’ve also provided a list of other Black-owned bookstores you can also shop from as well. 


How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi

Are Prisons Obsolete? – Angela Y. Davis

So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword by)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir – Patrisse Khan-Cullors, asha bandele, Angela Davis (Foreword by)


The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

The Stree – Ann Petry

How Long ’til Black Future Month? – N. K. Jemisin

Here are more black-owned bookstores to support around the country!

Chicago is a thriving city for small businesses and now is the time to support them. We know money is tight and it’s become increasingly difficult to keep up. But, if you have the income, consider ordering take out or getting a book from your local bookstore. We also want to continue to highlight and support minority and women-owned businesses. Here at 606 Movers, we are absolutely inspired by the creativity and resilience of some of these businesses. We hope we can all make it through to the other side of this stronger than before.  

Below are some of our favorites!

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery

515 N Halsted St

Chicago, IL 60642

Semicolon is Chicago’s only black woman-owned independent bookstore and gallery.They are committed to literacy and frequently collaborate with CPS through book donations. Support them and take advantage of the 10% discount they’ve applied to all titles.


1523 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

This is an eclectic and charming shop of Mexican-American art and gift items made by local artists and vendors. Mestiza is a Pilsen staple, so please consider supporting them as they transition into an online store. They also have curbside pickup! 

Chiya Chai

2770 N Milwaukee Ave

Chicago, IL 60647

Chiya Chai is a Logan Square favorite. If you love warm chai, crispy samosas, flavorful dumplings, then this is the spot to check out. Lend your support and enjoy their amazing food. 

Spring is almost here! We can already feel it. Hopefully these warmer days have inspired you to get out and have fun. This weekend is going to be an exciting one so head out and enjoy the sun. Since it is Women’s History Month, we’ll also be including events that support women all month long!

Chicago European Union Film Festival

 March 6th – April 2nd

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

This one is for the film lovers. The Gene Siskel Film Center is once again hosting another amazing film festival, the annual European Union Film Festival. Its showcasing 4 weeks of films, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to check them out. Also, be sure to support the women filmmakers featured!

International Women’s Day Edgewater Crawl

March 8th 11am – 2pm 

*Various locations in Edgewater 

This event hits close to home. As a women-owned small business, we understand the importance of community support. So if you can, be sure to check it out and explore women-owned businesses in Edgewater. They’ll have food and drink tastings and inspiring conversations. Follow the link to get details and locations. 

Babes, Booze, and Bake Sale

March 8th 11am – 4pm

Superkhana International – 3059 W Diversey Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60647

Head out this weekend to support some of Chicago’s best pastry chefs!  The lineup includes: Emily Spurlin (Lula Cafe), Erin Koroll (Cellar Door Provisions), and Mai Giffard (Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits) and so many more. Proceeds will go to Restaurant Culture Association, a nonprofit working to combat sexual harassment and build safe working environments in the food and drink industry.

If you’re looking for a warm and inviting place to escape the winter, Shokran is the place. While located in the Irving Park neighborhood, most would call this off-the-beaten-path. It’s not downtown and it’s not in a fancy restaurant area like Wicker Park. But that doesn’t mean it’s not special. Shokran (meaning ‘thank you’) is extremely special. And insanely good.

Despite it’s simple and nondescript location, the interior is anything but. The ceilings are adorned with fabric and booths are covered in jewel tone cushions. It’s orange, red, yellow, and blue decor transports you far away from the busy and bustling Irving Park Road. In addition, walls are covered in photographs of Morrocan markets, ornate lanterns light up the space, and candles add to a cozy atmosphere. 

And the food! You will not be disappointed. It’s affordable and the portions are generous. One of my favorite dishes is the lamb Fez, a tagine made with prunes, almonds, and hard-boiled eggs. Be sure to try the lamb kabob and don’t leave before you have had the Chicken Bastilla. It’s a traditional dish served at weddings made with crispy phyllo dough, layered with chicken, eggs, and almonds. It was so good, we forgot to take pictures. Staples like the hummus and the Morrocan mint tea were also incredibly good. 

The service was also friendly and prompt, really rounding out a wonderful experience. It is cash only but it really shouldn’t deter you. The atmosphere and food make Shokran a must. If you’re new to the neighborhood or a long time resident, make sure to go, support, and enjoy Shokran.


 4027 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641

Spring is so close, can you feel it! While it’s still cold, you can still make the most of the sunshine. Go out and explore the city and hopefully spring will get here in the meantime. 

30th Annual Festival of Films from Iran

Through to March 1st

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

If you’re interested in expanding your horizons or if you just love films, make sure to support this annual Iranian film festival. Featuring documentaries, comedies, and dramas, you’ll be sure to find something that speaks to you. It’s a great opportunity to embrace and support this community. Check out the Gene Siskel website for showtimes. 

The Orchid Show

Through March 22nd

Chicago Botanic Garden – 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022

The Chicago Botanic Garden is not only a summer destination. Beat the cold by surrounding yourself with orchids and art installations at The Orchid Show. Explore beyond the city limits and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful blooms. 

The Pancakes and Booze Art Show

Friday February 21st – Saturday February 22nd 

Reggies – 2105 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616

Enjoy booze and pancakes at Reggies for this unique traveling art show this weekend. Relax and indulge while you browse. Be inspired by the more than 100 local artists with live music performances. 

It is cold, and snowy, and only February. We wouldn’t blame you if you stayed in and relaxed. But there are still exciting things happening all over the city. If you’re brave enough to go out this weekend, keep these events in mind. Go out and listen to music, eat, and learn about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sounds like the perfect weekend! 


 Saturday, February 8th 2020

*Various Locations (Wicker Park & Bucktown)

Now in its 7th year, Chillfest will bring 30 musicians to Wicker Park and Bucktown where local businesses will host them in unique acoustic concerts. You’ll get to shop and eat while listening to music. Head over to their website to get a full lineup for this year’s festival. 

“Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

Sunday February 9th 2020 – Sunday August 16th 2020

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center – 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL   60077

If you’ve never been to the Illinois Holocaust Museum, make sure to go this year and check the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg Exhibition. It’ll put a spotlight on her life and amazing career. Learn, remember, and be inspired. 

Chicago Black Restaurant Week

Sunday, February 9th 2020 – Sunday, February 16th 2020

*Various Locations

If you’ve participated in Chicago Restaurant Week, be sure to support African American owned businesses this upcoming week. Similar to Chicago Restaurant Week, diners can take advantage of discounts and special menus at more than 35 participating restaurants. Take a look at their website and find a spot near you. You never know, you might find your next favorite place. 

As our first ever neighborhood spotlight, I thought I’d devote it to something dear to my heart. Pie. If you’re moving to the Humboldt Park neighborhood then you have to check out this nostalgic bakery.

I’d had my eye on this place ever since it opened in 2015 but just never got around to going. It was only recently that a realized that it was owned by husband and wife team Parker Whiteway and Dinah Grossman. Women owned business are important and deserve support so I couldn’t wait to check it out.

I think it’s safe to say, I walked away in love.

Atmosphere is everything to me and Spinning J has it. There are vintage booths, olive green velvet curtains, and pink walls with gold stencils throughout. As their website states, Spinning J was built with reclaimed and recycled materials, and it was artfully done. The details, like the soda fountain light fixtures to the throwback tile floors, add charm and personality. I can tell they had fun making the space. It’s nostalgic, warm, and unique.

And the pie. It exceeded my expectations if that was even possible. I went with my mom and sister and together we had the Dirty Chai, the S’mores, and the lemon poppyseed cake all on charmingly mis-matched china. The Dirty Chai was creamy and light, the S’mores pie was dark and rich, and lemon cake was moist and citrusy. And the coffee! It was strong and complimented the sweet pastries perfectly. I was blown away, full, and happy. I regret not trying any of the shakes or sodas but I think I’ll wait, since they’ll be perfect for the summer months. I’ll be coming back to try everything on the menu!

So go, the minute you have a chance. It’s small and almost always busy but it’s really worth the wait.

Spinning J

1000 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622