A successful GoFundMe project has raised nearly $60,000 to provide much-needed food and baby items to residents of a Chicago neighborhood hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and recent looting.
On Tuesday, a truck full of donations arrived at the Southeast Side of Chicago Food Pantry in the city’s East Side neighborhood.
“We have to make sure right now, especially during the pandemic, that people are safe and they have food on their table, so that’s our number one priority,” said 10th Ward Ald. Sue Sadlowski Garza.
Garza said 17 businesses, including shops on Commercial Avenue, were forced to temporarily close because of recent looting. She said many people could not access pharmacies for more than a week and several grocery stores temporarily closed because owners were fearful.
Garza’s colleague in the city council, 43rd Ward Ald. Michelle Smith, helped organize the fundraising efforts.
“What can we do in the short term to help, and they said help us acquire the things that we can’t easily get,” Smith said.
The owner of Carnival Grocery, Arthur Paris, took the shopping list and purchased items wholesale.
“There’s a lot of upheaval and a lot of people would like to help and this is a good way to do it,” Paris said.
Paris said the donations could continue for about 10 weeks.
According to Garza, many of the businesses that were closed will be reopening.