Three Moraine Valley Community College nursing instructors are delivering meals prepared by the Country House Restaurant in Alsip to area residents. More than 65,000 complimentary meals have been prepared and supplied by the restaurant since early March.
Maryan Jatczak, Judy Corcoran and Mary Sifner, who have been office mates for 20 years at the college, have been driving throughout the southwest suburbs delivering the free soup and meals since spring break.
“It’s so nice the restaurant is doing this, and they needed the help. It’s good for the people we’re bringing the meals to, and it’s good for us because we feel like we’re doing something to help,” said Jatczak.
Jatczak said she, Corcoran and Sisner are grateful for their situation because there are many people who are facing more difficult challenges.
“We have a job. We’re all okay, and none of us have direct health issues right now, so it makes us feel good to be there for others who aren’t as fortunate. We are seeing people who are in such dire straits, and we’re able to do something positive for them,” she said.
One of the residents who received a meal wanted to show her appreciation by paying what she could.
“The woman told us she really didn’t have anything and was trying to hand me two quarters. I told her, ‘Oh my goodness, no, we aren’t taking anything. We just want to help’,” Jatczak said.
As the trio traveled between Alsip, Blue Island, Crestwood, Justice and Palos Hills, they met many people who were extremely grateful for the meals.
“We had one family, it was a young family with a small child who was maybe three years old, and they were all standing in the driveway when we pulled up. You could just see how happy they were to get this food. The little boy was waving, and you know he really doesn’t understand what’s going on. I felt like the Grinch at the end where his heart just keeps getting bigger and bigger until it’s exploding,” Jatczak said.
Once the college’s spring break ended, the women returned to teaching the Registered Nurse program; however, they have not stopped delivering meals.
“When we pick up the meals we are going to deliver and we see all the people who are volunteering, smiling and laughing, you can just feel everybody’s good energy. They’re there because they want to be, and it’s making a difference. So those are all people you’d want to be spending time with, right? They’re all so positive. Doing this has been some of my best days during this whole quarantine,” Jatczak said.