South Side alderman distributes 1,900 meals to police officers

Coronavirus
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CHICAGO — South Side Alderman Matt O’Shea joined the 19th Ward Organization Tuesday to deliver meals to Chicago Police officers during the fight against COVID-19.

“Today, we are visiting all 22 police stations, three detective divisions and CPD headquarters, bringing them meals from nine restaurants on the Southwest Side,” said O’Shea.

That’s 1,900 individually-wrapped and served meals.

Originally, the goal was by way of a GoFundMe page to raise money to buy meals for front line health care workers, police officers and fire department employees from local restaurants in the 19th Ward.

But the giving got so great they were able to take it city wide.

“Since that time, we’ve raised more than $87,000, purchasing meals and delivering them to hospitals, police stations and fire stations,” said Alderman O’Shea.

Chicago Police Department Interim Supt. Charlie Beck, joined by district commander Don Jerome, said other donations of gloves, masks and hand sanitizers were appreciated.

“To be recognized by the community, is what we do it for. It’s a tough job, but it’s very rewarding when people recognize the sacrifices you make,” said Beck.

As of April 13, 54 police officers have died from COVID-19, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police.

That includes two in Chicago.

The deaths of narcotics officer Marco Di Franco, 50, and 57-year-old Sgt. Clifford Martin were recognized as “in the line of duty.”

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday any first responder who contracts COVID-19 will be covered under the state’s workers compensation disability law.

At last count 102 Chicago firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics have tested positive for COVID-19.

Another 193 police officers have also tested positive.

“They are out there every day with a potential threat of contacting this virus and bringing it home to a loved one, children or maybe a parent they are taking care of,” said O’Shea.

To contribute to the GoFundMe campaign click here.

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