Economy taking toll on Englewood charity

CHICAGO Mother Betty Price is the founder of Feed Clothe and Help the Needy (FCHN).

"So many needy children...needed something. Walk around ...with no clothes... no coats… just hungry," said Mother Betty Price. "I went through something as a child I didn't want to see anyone else go through it once I got grown."

Relying on donations, she provides help for anyone who comes through the door at 1234 W. 59th Street, whether they live in the Englewood neighborhood or not.

"It's important because it's a lot of people facing need whether it's shelter, for food or for support," said Shonda Babi, food recipient.

This year Feed, Clothe and Help the Needy will celebrate 20 years of feeding an average of 200 people a day, 6 days a week.

"She cares...she feeds every day. She gives out food everyday clothes you know...she reaches out to the people," said Curtis Mackfield, food recipient.

With mounting financial problems associated with the condition of the building FCHN may be forced to close as early as next week.

"If she closes, it will be like a dark cloud over 59th Street because a lot of people right here don't even have places to go eat," said Jimmy Alexander, food recipient.

"It hurts me to my heart for the people. It's not for me. (It's for) my brothers and my sisters, and we serve all races and colors here. I feel hurt," said Price.

"Without Mother Price being here I think the neighborhood would be shocked," said Denise Love, food recipient.

Price is optimistic the organization can find a way to survive.

"Twenty years we've been helping poor and needy people… over 20 years. I feel good about that," said Price.

For information on FCHN, call (773) 436-8277.

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