Mother Price’s Englewood soup kitchen needs help

SHARE Mother Price’s Englewood soup kitchen needs help
SHARE Mother Price’s Englewood soup kitchen needs help

Follow @MaryMitchellCST

// <![CDATA[

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');

// ]]>

Things were running slightly behind on Monday.

The two dozen men standing in line waiting for the gate to swing open didn’t mind. They knew their hunger would soon be satisfied.

Six days a week — come rain, shine, heat or blizzard — “Mother” Betty Price has been feeding, clothing and helping the needy in Englewood.

How she does it with a handful of donors and volunteers is like trying to figure out the biblical story of Jesus feeding the multitude.

“I’ve been running this program since 1988. Right now, I’ve got financial problems. I’m trying to keep this place open. We are the only soup kitchen in Englewood,” Price told me.

OPINION

Follow @MaryMitchellCST

// <![CDATA[

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');

// ]]>

She started the soup kitchen in her home. After running the program out of a couple of churches, she bought a former meat house on the corner of 59th and Elizabeth streets and moved the soup kitchen there in 1997.

Usually she has the meal on tables by noon. But Price had gotten some bad news and rushed off to the hospital. A former soup kitchen volunteer was on his deathbed.

Her daughter, Chanquanta Price, stood at the stove in her mother’s place, stirring a huge vat of red sauce for the mostaccioli.

“I do this because I know it hurts my mom to see people homeless and hungry. It’s not an easy job,” the daughter admitted.

“Everyone else has a pantry. But if you give them a bag of food, where are they going to cook it?”

<small><strong> People line up outside Betty Price’s soup kitchen at 59th and Elizabeth streets. | Mary Mitchell/Sun-Times</strong></small>

People line up outside Betty Price’s soup kitchen at 59th and Elizabeth streets. | Mary Mitchell/Sun-Times

Many of the men in line outside were ex-offenders with no place to lay their heads let alone somewhere to cook a meal.

“There are very few soup kitchens in our community and this is essential. Some people are not able to cook the food. Here you are getting a hot meal as opposed to eating something out of a can,” said Glenn, who preferred I not use his last name.

Being poor also makes it harder to pay the utility bills. So it wasn’t surprising to see young mothers with small children lined up outside of the soup kitchen as well.

In order to prepare the meals, Price said she was getting up at 2 a.m. three times a week to go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for donated items.

She was shocked when the food depository recently notified her that she could come in only once a week.

“A pantry is giving out a bag of food once a week. But we are feeding people every day. My stomach is hungry every day. Why wouldn’t the homeless be hungry every day?” she asked.

Jim Conwell, a spokesman for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, acknowledged the change in policy.

“She received a letter saying the Agency Mart is available one day a week. It is not the only way she can receive foods. Our menu is available to order items,” Conwell said.

Price said it’s time for her to get her own donors.

“I am trying to reach out to meat houses and grocery stores. I’m getting too old for getting up at 2 a.m.,” she said.

“If we all came together and give something, it wouldn’t be so hard on me,” she said.

For additional information, please contact Mother Price at 773-436-8277.

Follow @MaryMitchellCST

// <![CDATA[

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');

// ]]>

Tweets by @MaryMitchellCST

// <![CDATA[

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

// ]]>

The Latest
NFL
Appearing on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” Ashley Solis, who is among 22 women who have sued Watson over allegations he behaved inappropriately with them, provided graphic details of an encounter with the three-time Pro Bowler.
Third-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson is one of the three building blocks the Bears have on their roster. Tuesday, though, he was running with the second-team defense.
A local man opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 85 miles west of San Antonio.
The feds pointed to a video Lamar Taylor posted on Facebook Live on his way downtown on May 30, 2020, in which Taylor made “air quotes” with his hands as he said he was on his way to “protest.”
And a mixed bag from rivers, inland lakes and Lake Michigan share the lead to this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.