Your outdoor meal at First Slice Pie Café helps provide meals for Chicago’s homeless; Greater Chicago Food Depository needs volunteers to help pack 40,000 family food boxes in 40 days; and City Provisions is hosting a farm dinner field trip.
Last winter, chef Mary Ellen Diaz opened an outpost of her popular Ravenswood restaurant, First Slice Pie Café, in the recently renovated Water Works Visitor Information Center in the historic Pumping Station across from Water Tower Place. Well now, for the summer at least, you can savor homemade pies, pizza made from local, seasonal ingredients, salads and sandwiches al fresco at café-style tables and chairs outside along the Pearson Street side of the Visitor Center.
The reasonably priced food gets Diaz’s three-star gourmet touch, including organic ingredients, and the pies are amazing. Eating there feels good too—a portion of all proceeds from the First Slice Pie Café is donated to the First Slice community kitchen, which provides these same restaurant-quality meals to homeless men, women and children.
First Slice Pie Café 163 E. Pearson at Michigan Ave., Monday-Thursday 8 am – 7 pm; Friday 8 am – 6 pm; Saturday 9 am – 6 pm; and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
40,000 boxes in 40 days—you can help
Hunger knows no season. The Greater Chicago Food Depository knows this only too well. While most of us think about giving to or volunteering at food pantries and other organizations around Thanksgiving and Christmas, the need is constant.
Now through mid-September, the City of Chicago has an immediate need for 40,000 family food boxes. To meet this need, the Food Depository is looking for volunteers to work their Flex Line, packing boxes of donated food. This is a rewarding experience for families, businesses and community groups—and it’s a small time commitment, just a few hours. Volunteers are needed for 17 sessions. Each session listed needs to reach capacity, so put together a group and sign up. You can also participate as an individual.
To check the schedule of volunteer sessions and sign up—or for more information—visit the Greater Chicago Food Depository website.
Farm-to-table dining, on a working farm
More and more, restaurants are taking a farm-to-table approach to food. Later this month, instead of the food coming to the tables, a group of diners will head to the farm to dine at the source. City Provisions Catering & Events is hosting a farm dinner at Faith’s Farm in Bonfield, Illinois, about 70 miles from Chicago. Faith’s Farm is committed to sustainability and organic practices.
The dinner, co-hosted by Half Acre Beer, includes a hayride tour of the farm and a five-course meal with beer pairings. The evening closes with a bonfire and campfire treats. Also included is round trip transportation to the farm on a biodiesel bus, with snacks and beer—in case you don’t get enough beer at the farm. A handful of seats are still available for the Saturday, August 21, dinner. The cost is $175 per person. For more information, visit the City Provisions website.