CHICAGO (CBS) – One in five households in the Chicago area experiences some sort of food insecurity, and a local organization is trying to put a dent into that.
A grocery tour kicked off Monday, where hundreds of cases of food will be distributed to communities in need.
CBS 2's Andrew Ramos was there as the tour got underway in Pilsen.
"We are just here having fun, showing up for our people, and making sure that they know they are loved," said Keona Owens.
If there was one thing emanating from Pilsen on Monday, it was gratitude. Roughly 1,000 members of the community came out for the kickoff of "Lov'N the Streetz" grocery tour.
The initiative, started by The Touch Gift Foundation, provides free groceries to anyone who shows up, regardless of their need, income, or situation. Whatever they can carry out is theirs, and it's free—no strings attached.
Owens, a single mother of three boys, struggled with food insecurity herself. Her experience later served as the inspiration to jumpstart the initiative in 2018 and has since made an extraordinary impact citywide.
"I literally gave my $25,000 life savings, and I started going to the grocery store and buying groceries before we even got these collaborations, and from there, it literally spiraled out of control," she said.
The grocery tour is just one of many services provided throughout the year by The Touch Gift Foundation. Last year, the organization served more than 20,000 residents.
On Monday, the organization partnered with The Resurrection Project to give away more than 1,300 cases of food.
"They come back with free food," said Carlos Millan, of The Resurrection Project. "They don't really need to worry about this week's grocery bill, right? They could use that money on another need like school supplies."
"We have no limitations as far as the color or the demographics," Owens said.
Monday marked the kickoff of the "Lov'N the Streetz" grocery tour. The tour continues next month in Englewood on Oct. 21, in Avalon Park on Nov. 18, and in Pullman/Roseland on Dec. 16.
For more information on the events, visit touchgiftfoundation.org.
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