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Photograph: Sarah Zelman/The Fifty/50

This Chicago restaurant group is handing out 400 free meals a day

Morgan Olsen

Whether you lost your job this week or you just need a warm meal to get by, the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group is here to help. The folks behind Chicago institutions like Roots Handmade Pizza, the Berkshire Room and West Town Bakery are doling out 400 free meals almost every night of the week—just stop The Fifty/50 at 2047 W Division Street in Wicker Park Tuesday through Sunday from 4 to 6:30pm.

Available for no-contact pickup, the free pre-packaged dinners are available to all furloughed or laid-off workers from any industry, including restaurants, bars, hotels, salons, retail and beyond. The group's publicist noted that there's no need to show documentation or a pay stub, adding that folks can "just show up and get a free meal to go if [they] are in need. No questions asked."

The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group is able to pull off this heroic effort thanks to an anonymous Chicago tech CEO who's providing funds for the drive, according to a press release. "All of the food that we are serving is being purchased from local Chicago food distributors who are suffering right there alongside of us," says Fifty/50 cofounder Scott Weiner.

You can browse the current menu below, which includes hearty comfort foods like shepherd's pie, beef stroganoff and New England pot roast. We're told the wait time to retrieve a meal never tops more than a few minutes, and Fifty/50 workers are taking every precaution by using their pickup window so that guests don't need to enter the building. At the end of the night, unclaimed meals are donated to charity and distributed to the restaurant group's staff.

If you don't need a free meal but you think this idea sounds pretty awesome, you can always show love to the Fifty/50 Group's properties by snatching up gift cards or ordering delivery from Roots Handmade Pizza.

Courtesy the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group

Courtesy the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group

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