Every Monday is a giving day at Humboldt Park’s TurkeyChop
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Monday is the best day of the week at Humboldt Park’s TurkeyChop Gourmet Grill.
That’s because every Monday afternoon from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., the homeless and those struggling to put food on the table can line up at the restaurant and leave with hands full of chicken — baked, fried, grilled and smothered, lentils, rice and cabbage for free.
Quentin Love has transformed the eatery into a soup kitchen on Mondays for four years now, and the Sun-Times previously reported how he learned to give after a history of struggle with his businesses.
“I don’t want to get up on Mondays but I get so excited about what Mondays represent so I get up, I come to the location and we start prepping and getting ready for the day,” he said.
As lines filed in of customers coming for a plate of food, Love was busy in the aromatic kitchen while his grandmother, Addy Love Lewis, sat near the door and greeted incomers. She was the one who raised him, in the kitchen and in the church. When Love was six years old, she said, he would often accompany her to a nursing home where they would spend time and give away fruit.
“I taught him how to cook, I taught him how to give too,” Lewis said.
Love has served nearly 200,000 meals since 2014, he said.
When he sees the smile on someone else’s face, hears “thank you” and the grateful testimonials, he feels pride in his work.
“Not everybody is trying to take, some of these people here want to give too,” he said.
Outside of providing nourishment for underserved communities, Love’s also been on a mission to help many live a healthier lifestyle.
“We went into exercise as well, opened up several indoor cycling studios in different parts of the city,” he said. “We target parts of the city where there’s deserts.”
For Thanksgiving, Love’s doing his usual turkey giveaway and fundraising to meet the goal of 3,000 turkeys.