Friday, April 3 was a good day for front line staff at Weiss Memorial Hospital.  “It’s not every day our employees are treated to 150 free box lunches prepared by a top chef and his crew of sous chefs,” said Mary Shehan, Chief Executive Officer at Weiss. “We are so blessed by Chef Jereme McGovern’s  wonderful act of kindness.”

Staff receive free meals during pandemic

Jereme arrived at Weiss to deliver the meals with fellow chefs Jose Diaz and Noah Nichols. Also in attendance was Anthony Martorina, who was voted Social Media Person of the Year in 2016 by Chicago Social Media Marketing Group and has led the way in getting the word out about the charity effort.

Chef McGovern is a classically trained chef with a degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Concerned about his fellow restaurant industry colleagues who are unable to work because of the mandatory restaurant closures, Jereme and a handful of chef colleagues decided to do what they could to provide meals for those in the industry that were feeling the effects.

Working in partnership with the Chicago Park District and St. Mathias Catholic Church, Jereme and his colleagues have been using the kitchen at DuSable Harbor’s Café Michelle to prepare 250 dinners a week for service industry professionals impacted by the shut-down.  Jereme has decided to expand this outreach by delivering boxed meals to frontline responders at Weiss.

Jereme and his staff accept no cash donations—but instead have been fortunate to receive all of their resources from generous restaurant industry donors.  “All of these lunches are made possible because of the generosity of restaurant vendors, food purveyors, manufacturers of kitchen equipment and other suppliers,” states Jereme.

“On behalf of everyone here at Weiss, we are so grateful for Jereme’s generous donation,” said Weiss Chief Operating Officer Carmen Froman. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”