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OUr Response to COVID

The Young Men's Educational Network (YMEN) teams up with Gorilla Gourmet to provide critical food supplies to 1,000 people each week in North Lawndale. Every Thursday is filled with joy and love as the Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN) delivers 250 boxes of nutritious food to families in North Lawndale. Each 35-pound box has a $40 value and provides enough produce and essential food supplies to serves a family of four for several days.  YMEN estimates that this summer it will have been able to deliver over $150,000 worth of critical food through this partnership with Gorilla Gourmet and the Chicago Urban Growers Collective.  YMEN envisions a future in our community where food resources are no longer scarce and the neighborhood is a place where health, safety, economic prosperity, and peace abound and are equally available to all.

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The Young Men's Educational Network (YMEN) offers a community outreach called, “I LOVE MY COMMUNITY,” providing book bags for children, clothing, a pantry of non-perishable food items, and a catered lunch from Moe’s Café -- to bring hope and love to residents in the North Lawndale community. School supplies for children and needed groceries for adults and a catered meal from Moe’s Café for everyone!  

The Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN) provides a community outreach in North Lawndale celebrate our neighborhood and its resilience during these difficult days of pandemic, economic hardship, racial tensions, and street violence.  Beyond these struggles, we have a community where we love our neighbors, look out for those who are hurting, support our small businesses, and believe that we are better together.  We would like to thank Elim Christian Center for helping to provide the school supplies for our neighborhood children.  Each book bag included pens, pencils, paper, markers, crayons, rulers, glue, and even a calculator …… carefully packed by abled adults with physical and mental limitations. 

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Building BRIDGES instead of Building WALLS.  The Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN) provides leadership in offering both support and accountability in our relationship with the Chicago Police Department, District 10.  YMEN hosts a lunch catered by a local favorite, Mrs. B’s Catering.  Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN) seeks to grow its relationship with all key community stakeholders in North Lawndale, including neighborhood systems that are as complex as the Chicago Police Department.  For many years, YMEN and officers from District 10 have sought to grow an authentic relationship that fosters both support as well as provides community accountability. 

 Difficult conversations and delicious food are necessary ingredients in this dynamic journey.  YMEN hosted a lunch catered by Mrs. B’s Catering (Keeler and Cermak) that brought out the Captain, Lieutenants and Sergeants, and more than 90 other beat cops and support personnel.  YMEN also had the opportunity to share some time with Commander Calderon and share our vision for a system that is built upon restorative justice instead of punitive isolation. This bridge is one of great difficulty and huge importance.

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While man does not live by bread alone ……. The Young Men's Educational Network (YMEN) helps distributes 20,000 rolls in North Lawndale turning many heads and brining many smiles.

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20,000 dinner rolls ………. What????  YMEN passed out bread and smiles during a community prayer and peace rally that brought together Cook County President Preckwinkle and Congressman Danny Davis. 


YMEN loves our partners: Stone Temple Church, Grace and Peace, Lampstand, Boxing our Negativity, MMAD Men, and our awesome neighbors!

Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN) helps make e-learning possible by getting computers into the hands of students in North Lawndale who did not have one. 

YMEN liquidates our organizations computer lab to get the hardware into the hands of students and families that need them most.  “Ever since on-site learning ended, I could not bear to walk by our organizations lab with 20 computers and 0 students.  We knew that we needed to get these computers into the hands and homes of our students where they could be fully utilized every day.  We can worry about OUR lab later -- the kids come first,” said YMEN Founder Mike Trout.

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Young Men's Educational Network (YMEN) provides 80 home-made, nutritious, and warm meals each week to those with COVID in North Lawndale with the help of Chef Joseph Cooper!

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Targeting the sick and the elderly, YMEN serves us delicious and nutritious meals two times a week.  We bring these meals directly to the doors of our most vulnerable residents for less than $10 a meal ……. delivered!  Chef Joseph Cooper was formerly employed with Inspiration Kitchen in Chicago and has been hired by YMEN to continue his craft while catering and restaurant jobs are no longer available.  Over the summer months Chef Joseph Cooper prepared more than 1,000+ meals that were served to the North Lawndale community on Chicago’s West Side.

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