HUMBOLDT PARK — Organizations that serve Humboldt Park’s Puerto Rican community will give out more hot lunches and money to neighbors in need thanks to a city program.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the Puerto Rican Agenda and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center were awarded $25,000 through the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to fund their relief effort, La Cocina Mutua: Solidaridad no Caridad.
The groups were recently given another $50,000 through the same city program.
The second round of funding will allow the groups to again partner with Puerto Rican restaurant Nellie’s at 2458 W. Division St. and deliver hot lunches to seniors, people with disabilities and Puerto Rican climate refugees in their network. The daily lunch giveaways started Monday and will go through Aug. 10.
The groups will also give out $400 to about 60 households in need. The money will help with rent, mortgages, groceries, household supplies, medical services or “any other expense compromised by the impact of COVID-19,” according to a news release. During the first round of funding, the groups gave $250 to families.
The program is meant to “provide that care, that love, that cultural connection during a period where there’s so much uncertainty,” Cristina Pacione-Zayas, co-chair of the Puerto Rican Agenda, told Block Club in April.
Chicago’s Black and Brown communities have been hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic, both in terms of infection and the economic fallout.
Humboldt Park’s Puerto Rican community is also still reeling from hurricanes and earthquakes that have rocked Puerto Rico in recent years.
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