- Kids got free food while adults paid for their orders in a Kitchens Unlimited fundraiser that featured Geno’s Grill and Lucia’s Italian Kitchen, with proceeds benefiting No Kid Hungry.
- Chef Geno McWilliams said No Kid Hungry is “an amazing organization that is fighting … to end kid hunger in America.”
Local restaurateur and U.S. Pizza Team (USPT) member Chef Geno McWilliams was able to bring smiles to faces, great food to local families and help to disadvantaged school children all at the same time in an event held April 24 in Effingham, Ill.
McWilliams, the owner of Kitchens Unlimited, a virtual or “ghost” kitchen in southern Illinois, teamed up with the Food Network and the national No Kid Hungry campaign as part of an effort to combat food insecurity among children across the nation.
Kitchens Unlimited offered a free half cheesesteak and one slice of pizza to anyone under the age of 18. Older individuals could purchase a variety of pizza slices, cheesesteaks and Chicago-style hot dogs—even specialty pies—from Geno’s Grill and Lucia’s Italian Kitchen, with all of the proceeds going to No Kid Hungry.
“The simple fact of a child going hungry is quite disturbing to me,” McWilliams said. “No Kid Hungry is an amazing organization that is fighting to try and end kid hunger in America. These events are a ton of fun. All the kids got to see our big pizza oven and see us prepare their food. I even had some tell me, ‘Hey, I follow you on Instagram!’”
Kitchens Unlimited encompasses several styles of culinary delight. Lucia’s Italian Kitchen, Geno’s Grill and Southern Illinois Burger Co. all share a cooking space in the ghost kitchen to deliver great food to the Effingham locals while also giving patrons a one-stop shop for all flavors.
Event sponsors included Caputo Flour, Grande Cheese, Nuxoll Food Center and CelebrityChefs.info
The USPT competes year-round in various culinary and acrobatic pizza trials across the globe. The team also appears in media markets nationwide to promote pizza through camaraderie and teamwork. The USPT is sponsored by Galbani, Margherita, Grain Craft, Real California Milk, Gordon Food Service, LaNova, MFG Tray, Burkett Restaurant Equipment and Supplies, Lillsun, Univex, Presto Foods and Throw Dough.