COVID-19 pandemic not stopping one man's mission of bringing food, fellowship to homeless

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Michael Airhart is on a mission to bring food and fellowship to those who are homeless as they, along with the city, struggle with the spread of COVID-19.

Raised in Altgeld Gardens in the late 60s, Airhart has made it his mission for the past five years to provide companionship, goods, and services for the homeless population in Chicago. He pushes himself to capacity, serving an average of 500 meals daily.

"We have a bad virus that's killing everybody. The virus is off the chain," he said.

He and his staff wear gloves and are mindful of the danger as they keep their distance while trying to try to bridge the need the crisis has only made worse.

Amid the pandemic, usual resources, not to mention a hot meal, can be hard to come by.

"Its about staying safe, but we can't leave our people behind even though things are bad out here," he said.

On Wednesday, the 50-year-old Chicagoan served his fare at the Lawrence Avenue viaduct underneath Lake Shore Drive.

In only a few hours, he plated more than 1,500 hot dogs, steak tacos, and pork chops.

"We got steak, we got polishes, we got gyros sandwiches and its all yours. Its free. Its 100%," he said.

Airhart also passed out hygiene bags and bottled water, all for free.

This is not the first time Airhart has taken his Taste for the Homeless nonprofit on the road.

Airhart said his support of the homeless combines his love of cooking and his passion to help others while hoping to make a difference.

"We just want to make sure you guys can eat all you can," he said. "Load up!"
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