LOGAN SQUARE — Fat Rice, a top-rated Macanese restaurant on Logan Square’s Diversey Avenue, is offering pay-what-you-can meal kits to laid off industry workers and others in need during the coronavirus shutdown.
The Fat Rice team made 400 meal kits using produce, poultry, sauces and other ingredients in the restaurant at the time of the shutdown.
The kits include ingredients to make three meals for two people: Tofu and vegetable soup, pork meatloaf with wood ear mushrooms and marinated chicken thighs with seasonal vegetables.
“We had a large stock of inventory. … it needs to go to people in need,” co-owner Abe Conlon said.
Those who want a kit must sign up for one on the restaurant’s “community relief kitchen” website to schedule a pickup.
The kits are pay-what-you-can, meaning you can pay as little as 50 cents or as much as $500. The goal is for laid off restaurant industry workers and other people in need to supplement their groceries so everyone stays inside to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“It’s important we do our part to make sure that we are safe,” Conlon said.
The coronavirus outbreak has dealt a massive blow to the hospitality industry, with the state of Illinois mandating take-out only service and the closure of bars and gatherings of 50 or more people. Hundred of restaurants across the city have launched fundraisers for their workers, while food business owners and managers have lobbied for government assistance for the industry.
Conlon said his team had sold more than half of the meal kits by early Wednesday evening. Most people are giving between 50 cents and $10, but some are giving between $50 and $300, he said.
“People are very thankful that we’re doing this. They’re excited to have some delicious food at home,” Conlon said.
Conlon and his business partner, Adrienne Lo, are now exploring ways to keep the “community relief kitchen” going after the kits sell out. He said food supply companies are interested in donating to the cause.
Anyone who’s interested in getting involved is encouraged to sign up on the website for future updates.
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