Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Inspiration Kitchens, our social enterprise restaurant and training facility in East Garfield Park was unable to serve the paying public or provide in-person culinary training over the spring and summer. Our Catering Team began producing free, nutritious meals for people experiencing homelessness and poverty through a collection of partner organizations, including Breakthrough Urban Ministry’s Shelters, The Night Ministry, Franciscan Outreach, the Institute for Non-Violence Chicago, Victory Outreach, Healthcare Alternative Systems, and Northside Housing in the Uptown neighborhood. This was all made possible with the support of some very generous donors. 

We’ve set an aggressive goal of producing 91,000 meals at Inspiration Kitchens this year for those in need, helping lessen the impacts of COVID-19 on marginalized communities.   

These prepared meals fill a distinct need in the community. Those experiencing homelessness and poverty often lack the kitchen utilities necessary to prepare food, and these prepared meals will help increase their nutrition by offering hot, healthy options. When the pandemic started, many of the volunteer-driven hot meals programs around the city were not able to operate, leaving participants with few options to support their nutrition. Inspiration Kitchens meals incorporate fresh produce from local farms and our restaurant garden, promoting healthy eating while also supporting the local economy and food system.  

Meals production at Inspiration Kitchens will also provide employment and income opportunities for community members who have completed our job training program. Through transitional jobs, graduates will not only be paid to help produce free meals for community members in need, but also earn income and hone the skills they learned in our job training program.   

You can help us continue to provide meals and job training experience by making a gift today. Your support means the world to us, as well as to the people in our partner organizations like Sedora seen above.