The Issue: Food Insecurity in Chicago’s Uptown Neighborhood
Food insecurity affects one out of every six Cook County residents – and even reaches as high as 53% in parts of the city – according to data provided by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. In Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, the rate is approximately the same: 16.3% of the community’s residents are unsure where their next meal will come from, according to figures supplied by the same organization.
The Campaign: Upgrading an Uptown Soup Kitchen
All donations will be used by Preston Bradley Center to upgrade its soup kitchen. The first $800 raised by this Groupon Grassroots campaign will be used by Preston Bradley Center to purchase a new commercial dishwasher to replace its broken unit. The new appliance will allow volunteers to use the soup kitchen’s dishes and silverware as they provide free, hot meals to as many as 600 people weekly. Presently, the kitchen is forced to use disposable supplies, wasting resources and causing harm to the environment. Additional funds will contribute to other kitchen upgrades.
Preston Bradley Center
At the corner of Lawrence Avenue and North Sheridan, right in the heart of Chicago’s Uptown Square Historic District, stands a six-story historic building bearing the name of Dr. Preston Bradley. From 1912 to 1978, Dr. Bradley served as the minister of the progressive-oriented Peoples Church of Chicago, using the pulpit to espouse the ideals of social justice as he fervently worked to secure free speech and equality alongside prominent figures such as Jane Addams and Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, the 1926 building – added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 – is a beehive of activity and progress that carries on the work begun by Dr. Bradley. With the goal bringing people together to improve the lives of their neighbors and the community in which they live, the staff welcomes all members of the community into its pair of auditoriums, theater, galleries, and meeting rooms. Permanent space-sharing partners include the Uptown Arts Center, a series of active galleries and studio spaces available for use by local artists, and North Side Housing Services, a city contract agency that addresses transitional housing for displaced individuals. The center is also member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which awarded it the Soup Kitchen Quality Performance Award in 2008, and hosts the 2 L'il Fishes program, which provides free meals to any individual in need six days a week.
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