Coronavirus Chicago: Wrigley Field serving as food packing, distribution center for COVID-19 relief

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Wrigley Field is being used as a food packing and distribution center as part of the COVID-19 relief efforts.

Normally in late April the concourse would be full of baseball fans getting a hot dog between innings. But with baseball on hold, dozens of volunteers from Lakeview Food Pantry packed boxes of food to feed those in need.

"While the concourse helps provide space there is still a need for more volunteers to meet the growing need," said Kellie O'Connell of the Lakeview Food Pantry.

With so many out of work during the pandemic stay-at-home directive, food pantry operators say demand for food is up by 140 percent.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot toured Wrigley Field Thursday afternoon. The stadium is serving as both a packing facility and as a pick-up location where those in need can get food staples. T

The food comes from donors like Brian Galati of Machine Hospitality Group, who collected thousands of food packages and other essential items.

"This is from neighbors, staff, so many people are stepping up," he said.

The Cubs organization is also donating rooms across the street at the Zachary Hotel for medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle through April 30.

"It's nice to be able to use it for something. We'd rather be using it for baseball but given. The conditions we're just trying to help and give back," said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts.

While the concourse helps provide space there is still a need for more volunteers and food donations to meet the growing need.

Saturday the public distribution of food to those most affected will take place from noon to 2 p.m.
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