Marz Feeds the Hungry with Love Fridge, Mom's Meals

Published September 10, 2020

Marz Community Brewing Company, the McKinley Park neighborhood's burgeoning brewer of specialty beers and craft tonics, has continued its programs of free community nutrition assistance via The Love Fridge and weekly donated meals produced from its kitchen with the help of the restaurateurs at Mom's.

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The Love Fridge, which is available 24 hours a day on the south side of the Marz building at 3630 S. Iron St., Chicago, lets hungry community members and families pick up nutrition assistance whenever they need it and allows donors to drop off food at any time. The artist-decorated refrigerator is one in a growing network of 10 across Chicago with a goal to "nourish our communities while combating food scarcity and food waste," Marz wrote in an announcement about its Love Fridge.

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"With food insecurity at an all-time high, keeping our communities fed right now is more important than ever," the Love Fridge program wrote in its mission statement on its website.

Mom's at Marz

Marz Community Brewing has also continued providing free nutrition support to local food pantries, senior centers and other support outlets through its Community Kitchen initiative, which includes weekly provision of hundreds of meals from Marz Brewing and the Kimski restaurant in Bridgeport. Both are part of the growing collection of food, beverage and entertainment venues run by Marz chief Ed Marzewski and other Marzewski family members.

Now permanently ensconced in the kitchen at Marz, the food industry entrepreneurs of Mom's are helping out with Community Kitchen meal prep, as well as now helming all food served from the Marz tap room and at food-and-drink events. Mom's had previously found a home at the Politan Row food hall in the West Loop neighborhood, but left in the wake of the venue's temporary shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Love Fridge Rules

Food donation guidelines outline the types of foods accepted or not at the Love Fridge. Allowed for donation are sealed package foods; cheeses; fresh fruit and vegetables; table sauces; pastry; bread; unopened, pasteurized milk and yogurt; unopened fruit juices; fresh eggs (with a use-by date); and cured meats in a sealed container with a use-by date.

Not accepted at the Love Fridge are raw meat and fish; alcohol; raw milk cheeses; leftovers; and unlabeled or multi-ingredient items.

"Feel free to stock it with love!" Marz wrote in its announcement. "If you need food, take what you need. If you have extra food, come by and stock the fridge to feed others."

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