Tag Archives: NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

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
Cheeses
Fresh fruit
Fresh vegetables
Table sauces
Pastry
Bread
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
Alcohol
Raw milk cheeses
Unlabelled multi-ingredient items
Half-eaten leftovers

Etiquette

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 Discard out-of-date food and do not consume prepared food after seven days.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.

Guidelines

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

Avondale
Honey Love
24/7 ACCESS
3361 N Elston Ave
Located behind Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Back of the Yards
Star Farm
24/7 ACCESS
5155 S Wolcott Ave

Port Ministries
24/7 ACCESS
5017 S Hermitage Ave

Belmont Cragin
Bidi Bidi Nom Nom at Hangry’s
24/7 ACCESS
5000 W Fullerton Ave

Bridgeport
The Fridge on Marz
24/7 ACCESS
3630 S Iron St

Brighton Park
Oasis de Yum at La Roca
24/7 ACCESS
2959 W Pershing Rd

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

East Side
The Kindness Korner
24/7 ACCESS
11201 S Ave G

Englewood
Getting Grown Collective
24/7 ACCESS
6344 S Morgan St

Grand Boulevard
Behind Last Lap Corner Store at Boxville
24/7 ACCESS
332 E 51st St

Humboldt Park
Dirt Farms
24/7 ACCESS
3419 North Ave
Alley behind Humboldt’s Used Books

Little Village
Moreno’s
24/7 ACCESS
3724 W 26th St

The Love Shack
24/7 ACCESS
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
24/7 ACCESS
2915 N Milwaukee Ave

North Lawndale
Stone Temple Fridge
24/7 ACCESS
3622 W Douglas Blvd

Palmer Square
Blnk [Food] Bank
24/7 ACCESS
3206 W Armitage Ave

Pilsen
Comida Para el Pueblo
24/7 ACCESS
1855 S Blue Island Ave

South Shore
24/7 ACCESS
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
24/7 ACCESS
6601 S Pulaski Rd

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.

Shokran

 4027 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641

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