Calling all pizza lovers! Last month Longfellow Community Council hosted our first-ever pizza party, and it won’t be our last. Thanks to the 100+ neighbors who came out to the Toolbox Collective last month and ate pizza with us and the community, talked with organizations, and voted on their favorite pizza place.
There were five pizza places to sample: Boludo, Parkway Pizza, Pizza Hut, Chicago Taste Authority and Pizza Luce. There were also so many varieties – classics like cheese and supreme and creative combinations like a Greek pizza or barbeque jackfruit pizza. We tallied the votes, and Boludo and Pizza Luce tied for favorite pizza with 35 percent of the vote for each. Let us know if you agree or if you have a favorite pizza place not included in the night’s sampling spread.
While we spend a lot of time creating programming like our shoveling program or home improvement program, bringing neighbors together is an important part of our work. Communities are stronger when they are connected. It was wonderful to see so many of you meeting your neighbors and talking about neighborhood issues, joys and the pizza you loved the most. It can be easy to feel isolated, especially, if like me, you are a renter or recently moved into the neighborhood. It’s easy to feel that way even if you’ve lived in the neighborhood for years. Communing over a good meal is special and helps us all feel a little more supported.
One of the things I love most about this work is getting to know you all and connect with organizations and businesses, that feeling of being embedded in the place I live and work. My hope is that we can help facilitate that sense of belonging for everyone who lives and works in the Greater Longfellow Neighborhood.
So many of you were able to talk with some of the amazing people and organizations that are working to make our communities stronger. All seven of these organizations do amazing work:
• Longfellow Healthy Seniors hosts helpful and fun events for our seniors and helps us break down those generational barriers;
• LifeSource works to save lives through organ and tissue donation;
• Redesign is helping rebuild our community with care after we lost so much with projects like the Coliseum;
• AllSquare not only makes delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, but invests in those who are impacted by mass incarceration;
• Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice helps to find alternative solutions to punitive legal outcomes for youth;
• East Phillips Neighborhood Institute has been fighting for community needs and environmental justice with the East Phillips Urban Farm;
• Mapping Prejudice researches and maps racial covenants and housing discrimination histories.
We are so grateful to these organizations for participating in the pizza party and serving up hot and fresh information to our community members. If you missed talking to someone and want to connect, send us an email and we’ll put you in touch, or check out their websites.
We were overwhelmed with the amount of support – we ran out of pizza at 7 p.m.! Thanks to all our volunteers for helping throughout the night. Next year, we’ll be ready with more pizza. We appreciate your patience with us as we grow and host new events. Apologies to those who came later in the night to no pizza! We’ve done this event every year, but in the past we were serving up dessert pie. The need for cheese is much greater!
We were able to give five bags of food to Community Aid Network MN thanks to all your generous donations. They are a mutual aid organization serving all of Minneapolis with food, supplies, and more. You can learn more about them on their website or Instagram.
Thanks for sharing a meal with us and your neighbors. We hope to see you all again next year!
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