Highland Park catering company is helping feed low-income families, the elderly and the homeless.

ByYukare Nakayama WLS logo
Friday, April 17, 2020
Suburban catering company helps feed vulnerable neighbors
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It's not business as usual for Bellaru Catering company in Highland Park, but the employees are busy at work cooking food for the elderly, the homeless, and delivering groceries to

HIGHLAND PARK, Il (WLS) -- The economic backlash from the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt by businesses in Chicago and beyond, especially the food industry. Bellaru Catering in Highland Park is all too familiar with that pain but they're making sure its most vulnerable people aren't going hungry.

"We lost all of our corporate business and all our weddings and we're just kind of stuck as to what to do and how to help," said Maya Rotman-Zead, owner of Bellaru Catering.

She added, "we changed over our kitchen to making meals and providing meals and groceries to feed the low income, people who have lost their jobs, the homeless."

Bellaru Catering is predominantly helping Mexican Families, as well as the elderly, who live in the Highland Park and Highwood area. So far, they're helping out 70 families a week.

Rotman-Zead teamed up with Family Service of Lake County, which provides low-income families with education and health services.

In Highwood and Highland Park, 25 percent of the population is Latinx. Arturo Medina of family service of Lake County, said many in the community worked in the service industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic.

"Majority of that group needs that support in a lot of variety of ways especially because its effecting their livelihood," said Medina.

Bellaru Catering make traditional Mexican meals for the elderly and premade food for the homeless. They're also delivering bags of groceries filled with essentials, to families in need.

That includes five pounds of maza, for tortillas and other items, ten bags of ready-made tortillas, five pounds of rice, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, three large onions, and a pound of jalapenos and cilantro.

They are also offering families household essentials, like toilet paper.

Rotman-Zead said she's lending a helping hand, not because she has to but because she can.