Shut Down Chef Perseveres Just To Feed Kids In Need

Gives up her dream to serve meals to the most vulnerable food insecure in our communities.

Things were going exceptionally well at the restaurant; she had even expanded to add more seating. She'd be adding more customers and staff to cook and serve them. Millie was living her dream. Then the pandemic hit and at the same time, gas leaks were discovered. She was shocked by this news and what followed meant disaster, the restaurant's Utilities had to be cut off. She went from running a popular restaurant, Millie Peartree Fish Fry & Soul Food, to scrambling to see what comes next.

She started to do private catering and booked several events until COVID-19 slowed things down. Thankfully, she was asked to help Laura Brown, the editor-in-chief of InStyle magazine, who wanted to donate meals on behalf of her company. "In a matter of months, Millie Peartree Catering had fed nearly 6,000 essential workers, including hospital staff, USPS workers, MTA employees and bodega workers, as well as protesters."

Millie then got this wonderful idea about helping children in need. She knew that the pandemic was forcing a lot of critically important soup kitchens and food pantries to close - jeopardizing the meals for thousands of children. So, Millie started Full Heart Full Bellies to provide prepared meals for children in grades K through 12 in the poorest neighborhoods she knew, the Bronx.

In the Bronx, 31 percent of all children live in food insecure homes; that is, one in four – do not always know where their next meal is coming from. In light of these numbers, Food Bank For New York City called for enactment of the New York City Council's proposal that free school lunch be provided to all children in the City's public schools, noting that it would help end the stigma surrounding free school lunch. With most summer programs canceled due to COVID-19, we want to assure that children have at least one hot meal 3 times a week to fill their bellies and help fill the growing meal gap that exists for struggling families.

It is an ongoing fight and we are thankful that Millie Peartree has taken it on.

NYT Cooking Profiles Millie Peartree

For more stories about Feeding the Hungry and Caring For the Homeless, try these:

For more about Millie Peartree and Full Heart Full Bellies, Click Here!

To Visit the Full Heart Full Belies GoFundMe page, Click Here.


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