UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A group of West Town restaurants and volunteers are reviving a hugely popular effort to provide Thanksgiving meals this week for those in need — but could use a little help.
Local restaurants like Joey G’s Mac n’ Cheese, Bartoli’s Pizza and Antique Taco are working with nonprofit West Town Feeds to cook and serve 1,000 meals to older people, people experiencing homelessness and other community members.
Volunteers will serve full Thanksgiving meals 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Haas Park, 2402 N. Washtenaw Ave. On Thanksgiving Day, the group will provide meals for residents at a local rehabilitation center and pass out pre-made meals at homeless encampments.
“We’re trying to provide meals to people with dignity,” said Robert Magiet, founder of West Town Feeds and owner of TaKorea Cocina, 1022 N. Western Ave. “People are going to be getting turkey and ham, stuffing and gravy, cranberry sauce … meals that we eat.”
A group called Lasagna Love will also provide lasagnas.
The group started the effort last year during a difficult time in the pandemic. They initially wanted to give out 50 meals — but they were flooded with donations, which helped them serve hundreds of neighbors and use the leftover money to do a Christmas giveaway.
“Last Thanksgiving was really when West Town Feeds started. We ended up serving close to about 1,000 people total, which is what we’re still going to be feeding this go around,” Magiet said.
Magiet said he’s all set on volunteers, but he could use more pies and financial donations.
Anyone interested in participating can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Pies can be dropped off at Haas Park 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday.
Those interested in donating financially can send it via Venmo to @westtownfeeds or Zelle via the group’s email address.
The Thanksgiving meals are just the latest community project Magiet has taken on.
During the pandemic, he delivered thousands of free meals to neighbors and regularly bought dozens of tamales from struggling street vendors, taking the food to homeless encampments.
Earlier this month, Magiet stood in as a volunteer crossing guard at a busy Ukrainian Village intersection near an elementary school.
A week later, Chicago Public Schools installed a permanent guard to work the intersection.
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