Meals program exceeds fundraising goal, seeks to extend delivery period

CURTIS PARK SHARES MEALS, a charitable campaign that began in May with a goal of raising $5,000 to fund meal deliveries in Oak Park, has exceeded its goal by $1,000, which helps the group to deliver meals a week beyond the targeted end date of July 17.

Close to 90 donors have given from $5 to $500. One of them, Karen Mraovich, says, “Living in beautiful Curtis Park, I felt that I needed to see beyond my bubble and help others in need.”

Allora Restaurant on Folsom Boulevard prepares the meals, which have included Cuban pork Ropa Vieja simmered with tomatoes and peppers served over rice and Hungarian pulled Chicken Paprikash over oven-roasted red potatoes. Vegetables and desserts are included. Menus change weekly.

Donations pay primarily for food and labor. They allow Allora, which partners with at least five other charitable food efforts, to keep its staff employed during the economic downturn.

Curtis Park Shares Meals also partners with Community Connections 95820, an established distributor of food to food-insecure neighbors in Oak Park. This organization has a coalition of resources, including City Councilmembers Jay Schenirer and Allen Warren, Root64 farm and The Food Literacy Center. The program serves a variety of people in need, such as homeless people, single mothers with children, individuals with compromised immune systems and undocumented immigrants.

Drivers leave the Allora meals on families’ doorsteps after recipients have been alerted to the drop-off. Curtis Park Shares Meals has several drivers but needs more to deliver 50 meals in an hour at noontime Fridays.

If you are able to volunteer to drive meals from the distribution point at Fruitridge Elementary School to several homes in the area, access the CC95820 webpage at www.communityconnections95820.org and select “Deliver.” Once you sign up, materials will be sent to you. “Drivers feel very good about being that last but necessary step in the chain of food relief,” says coordinator Ashley Powers Clark.

Donations may be made at http://www. gofundme.com/Curtis-park-shares-meals. Increased donations could allow Curtis Park Shares Meals to extend the period of meal delivery beyond the currently scheduled six weeks.

Written by Bruce Pierini and posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2020

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