Edgeville Buzz

Edgewater And Andersonville Businesses Bring Frontline Workers Crucial Help In The COVID-19 Fight

Photo: Farm Bar Edgewater

Across the nation those on the frontline of the COVID-19 virus are working tirelessly as they care for those in need while putting their own health at risk. That struggle is particularly evident in the Edgewater and Andersonville neighborhoods where the pandemic becomes more personal.

First responders such as nurses, doctors, paramedics, firefighters and our police force all play critical roles in keeping the public safe and healthy. The long hours and limited staff coupled with the stress of limited supplies makes their jobs increasingly challenging.

Though we are encouraged to stay at home in order to decrease the spread of COVID-19, many residents are seeking ways to help ease the burden inflicted on frontline workers. Area businesses, many that are currently suffering crises of their own, have also answered the call by offering goods and services free of charge.

The power of lending a hand in times of need has been a pillar of our community. Andersonville’s Koval Distillery recently interrupted their alcohol production and started to churn out much needed hand sanitizer. Over 1,000 gallons of the liquid reached Chicago police, firefighters, ambulance companies, and countless hospitals. Tide Cleaners at 5601 N Clark is utilizing their services by not only providing free laundry and dry cleaning to the immediate families of front line responders but they have also lowered the price of cleaning household fabrics like comforters, duvets and towels for all their customers as we fight COVID-19.

“We are inspired by the work first responders are doing across this country right now,” said Tide Cleaners Chief Marketing Officer Moses Ogbonnaya. “But not just first responders – frontline workers as well. So in addition to the police, fire and EMT workers keeping our country safe right now, we are also inspired by all of our healthcare workers. Doctors, nurses, practitioners and more are putting themselves at risk to keep our friends and family safe.”

Area restaurants, many which have already been hit particularly hard by the State’s dining ban, have also  heeded the call by preparing large food orders for the staff at local hospitals. Francesca’s on Bryn Mawr (1039 W Bryn Mawr) served up hot Italian home-cooked food for those at Swedish Hospital. Not to forget the night-shifters, nurses at Weiss Memorial Hospital got a second helping of their pasta last Friday to say thank you for all their dedication.

Farm Bar Edgewater (1133 W Granville) is known for offering approachable Midwestern fare based on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. So it was a fresh surprise for the workers at facilities like Swedish Hospital and John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital to get boxed meals of healthy cuisine including heirloom vegetable grain bowls, corned beef sandwiches and cuban-style club sandwiches. To date, Farm Bar alone has served well over 500 meals.

“Obviously it has been a very difficult time for the industry as a whole and personally for me as manager and a boss,” said Farm Bar Edgewater General Manager Shawn Ash. “But getting all the pictures and thank yous from the first responders makes us all feel good. And the response from the Edgewater community who added onto the orders we delivered was great to see.”

Ash added that it is important that area businesses are utilized at a time like this. Farm Bar is one of several restaurants that rely on customers’ donations to help offset the cost of production and the logistics of organizations like Feed The Frontlines to distribute the food. The personal relationships between customers and the neighborhood businesses they love has become crucial during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Now more than ever, consumers are being asked to invest valuable dollars in businesses and services when money might be tight,” Tide Cleaner’s Ogbonnaya added. “When you go to a store or a business, it is reassuring to know that your favorite business is making the right choices in the world.”

To add a first responder meal donation onto your next order from your favorite area restaurant like Farm Bar Edgewater or Francesca’s on Bryn Mawr, contact them directly to see what programs they offer and how to help. Tide Cleaners is offering a 20% off coupon for first time customers with code edgeville20 HERE. To request hand sanitizer from Koval Distillery, click HERE.

If you know of any other business offering aid to those on the COVID-19 frontline, please add tin the comments section below.



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