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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Little Village Vegan Restaurant Donating Food All Week To People Experiencing Homelessness

The Black Vegan aims to give out 75-200 meals through Thanksgiving week. You can send the owner suggestions of people in need or shelters who could use a home-cooked meal.

On the left the sign of The Black Vegan restaurant. On the right, Sparkle Le'Star Rucker, owner of the restaurant.
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LITTLE VILLAGE — A vegan restaurant in Little Village is delivering holiday meals to people experiencing homelessness.

The Black Vegan, 2300 S. Kedzie Ave., is cooking and delivering homemade meals all week, and it is still looking for people in need to add to its meal delivery schedule. If anyone wants to suggest a shelter or a person that should receive a holiday meal, they can contact The Black Vegan on Instagram or on Facebook.

Owner Sparkle Le’Star Rucker said the staff aims to provide 75-200 meals through Thanksgiving week.

“We try to give out home-cooked and -baked food,” Rucker said. “We want to donate wholesome, full meals in an amount that we hope can be a whole day’s worth of food. But if we receive more requests, we’ll of course deliver more. This is not just a one-time holiday donation; it’s always been our priority to put the community first.”

The Black Vegan has donated food in the past, Rucker said. Last year, during the protests over George Floyd’s murder, the restaurant gave out free food to Latino and Black Chicagoans, she said. The staff has also donated food to shelters in the past.

The Black Vegan donations are particularly in demand because they are some of the few vegan meals available.

Rucker’s commitment to donating food comes from her personal experience.

“I spent half of my childhood in poverty and homeless, so I understand what it’s like to live on the street and stand in line at the shelters,” she said.

Having that experience fuels Rucker to give back to those in similar situations, she said.

“When I saw the people helping at the shelter, I always thought, ‘I want to be like that one day,'” she said.

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