Chef Quentin Love’s charity the Love Foundation has taken to Go Fund Me again for Thanksgiving, this time seeking to raise $50,000 to help fund the Foundation’s weekly soup kitchen and spread community love across West Humboldt Park and beyond to impact more than 4,000 people in need for the holiday.
The owner of Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill, 3506 W. Chicago Ave., has doubled his turkey giveaway goal to 2,000 this year. On November 22, he will be joined there by volunteers starting at noon to hand out whole, uncooked turkeys to anyone in need. On Thanksgiving Day, he’ll open the restaurant’s doors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to serve free dinners to an estimated 2,000-plus people. The Turkey Chop/Love Foundation Thanksgiving giveaway, now in its fourth year, has become a West Side tradition along with the restaurant’s Free Meal Mondays. Every Monday for the last three years, Love has closed the restaurant to paying customers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to tend to those in need, serving hot meals and giving away clothes in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, local churches and nonprofits. The Foundation has served more than 150,000 free meals.
Love, who grew up on the South and West Sides, has focused his philanthropy on Humboldt Park and West Humboldt Park in recent years as a counterpoint to the high rates of poverty and violence plaguing the communities. Earlier this year, he opened the Bikettle Indoor Cycling Studio at 4353 W. North Ave., in Humboldt Park, a community with a large Latino population that lacks health clubs and facilities developed expressly for exercise. Bikettle incorporates dance moves and kettle bells for a body-drenching workout capable of shedding up to 1,000 calories per session.
Last year, the Love Foundation raised $10,000 to help pay for the turkeys and refreshments such as hot cider that volunteers will offer to those waiting in line. The second year of the giveaway, Love used half his $36,000 winnings from “Guy’s Grocery Games’ Veterans Holiday Showdown” on the Food Network to pay for the effort. The other half went to the USO. This year, he says he is relying on the generosity of those who have a little extra to give so that others won’t go without.
“Every year, I challenge not only myself to do more, I challenge everyone across Chicagoland who has the means to help to step in and step up,” Love said. “Chicago is more than the violence people hear about on the news. It’s a city where people of all cultures, faiths, races and ethnicities bond together to make a difference. Let’s keep the blessings coming!”
About Quentin Love
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 realized that through his life experiences he had a lot of value to offer others beyond the kitchen. He became a certified life coach and began to offer one-on-one coaching and group seminars. He is the author of The Motivational Cookbook: Feeding Your Body, Mind and Spirit and The 66 Day Objective, which discusses how to lock in your goals and or remove habits in 66 days through guided journaling. Love, a Marine Corps veteran (Operation Desert Storm) has owned more than 10 restaurants over the last 15 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. For more information visit www.quentinlove.net.