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The Foodie’s Spot, shining light during a dark time

By Shawntell Muhammad | Last updated: May 13, 2020 - 2:08:43 PM

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CHICAGO—The novel coronavirus or Covid-19 has changed everyday life for much of America. The shutdown of most of the U.S. economy has resulted in small businesses closing or experiencing a considerable drop in revenue. Black-owned businesses have been hit hard.

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Carmella Muhammad, owner of The Foodie’s Spot, delivers meals for staff to administrator at South Shore Hospital in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Carmella Muhammad

However, one real estate firm based in the city, Chicago Real Estate Resources (CRER), created a program to bring financial relief to struggling neighborhood restaurants and provide nutritious meals to health care workers and other frontline employees.

The firm created the CRER Cares meal donation program, and with money raised from a GoFundMe drive, contacted local South Side restaurants to assist in these efforts. The program contacted Sister Carmella Muhammad, owner and operator of The Foodie’s Spot, located at 7350 S. Stony Island Ave.

The Foodie’s Spot provided 60 meals to South Shore Hospital, 85 meals to Roseland Hospital, and 60 meals to Jackson Park Hospital during the last week of April. The meals included halal chicken, whiting and broccoli croquettes, and black beans and rice.

Sister Carmella stated that the timing was a blessing, being that she did not receive funds from the first round of the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. “The CRER Care program helped with rent payment for The Foodie’s Spot,” she said.

The Foodie’s Spot has been contacted by more agencies and hospitals to provide meals throughout the Chicago area.

Being born and raised in New York by Haitian parents, Sis. Carmella’s Haitian heritage was intricately instilled within her by her parents sending Sis. Carmella and her siblings to Haiti very often. As an adult, working and traveling with the Concerned Haitian Americans of Illinois, Sis. Carmella witnessed the group of doctors doing charitable work in Haiti, providing medical care to over 8,000 people. This experience influenced Sis. Carmella’s charitable work she does in Chicago.

In 2009, Sis. Carmella began a home-based catering business. From there in 2013, Sis. Carmella started feeding the homeless at the Pacific Garden Shelter. This endeavor led to Mission Feed the Homeless organized by Sister Carmella and Muslims of Mosque Maryam of the Nation of Islam. They regularly prepared meals to distribute to people in need.

The Foodie’s Spot was opened in September 2018, all while keeping her mission on feeding the homeless. “Under the leadership of Dr. Abdullah Hassan Pratt, the University of Chicago doctors joined NOI Feed the Homeless during the spring and summer seasons of 2019. The doctors provided blood pressure, glucose, and other vital screenings to the public, as well as donating socks and wash cloths,” said Sis. Carmella.

Sis. Carmella has more exciting and uplifting developments underway for the community in the near future.

Working with co-owner, Brother Michael A. Muhammad and a small staff, The Foodie’s Spot is open for business. Jars of bean soup, lentil bean soup, vegetable medley, frozen chicken and fish dinners, bean pies, dry beans, and more can be ordered and picked up. For more information call, (773) 420-3948.

Shawntell Muhammad is a Chicago-based freelance writer and can be reached at organicallybalanced@gmail.com