Injustice. Hatred. Racism. Anger. Hunger. Joblessness. Fear. How the hell do we fix this, people? Must not despair. Must think creatively. And leading us by example – without regard for the cost – restaurateur and chef Quentin Love is living by his motto “Healing communities through food.”
Quentin Love – perfect name – transforms his Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill in West Humboldt Park into a soup kitchen every Monday serving nearly 300,000 free meals to date and has given away turkeys and free meals to thousands on the West Side for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In response to the damage caused by looters during protests over police brutality in America, Love has pledged to serve 1,000 free meals this Friday, June 5, at Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill, 3506 W. Chicago Ave., starting at 2 p.m. FREE meals being served right now.
Many grocers have closed due to violent protests and extensive vandalism to essential businesses such as grocery stores, further limiting options for poor residents living in a food desert.
“No one should have to go hungry,” said Love. “Maybe, if people are shown some love, they will stay at home and stop all this violence and destruction.”
Love witnessed a business being looted and torched a block away. He knows there is no guarantee that his benevolence to the community will safeguard his business. But says, “You can’t worry about the property if you’re not protecting the people.”
Love, who grew up on both the South and West Sides, believes in healing communities through food and programming. Through his philanthropy, he has developed best practice partnerships to help feed the poor and indigent every Monday at his restaurant. The soup kitchen is an initiative of the Love Foundation, the nonprofit he founded in 2001 to provide afterschool activities and teach non-violence to South Side youth. He is the author of The Motivational Cookbook: Feeding Your Body, Mind and Spirit.
The 66-Day Objective, which discusses how to lock in your goals and or remove habits in 66 days through guided journaling. Love has owned more than 10 restaurants over the last 16 years. In that time, his menu and charitable giving have been geared toward providing healthier food choices to residents living in “food deserts,” communities with scant groceries or access to fresh fruit and vegetables that have high incidence of diabetes and heart disease.