Gonnella Baking Co.

Gonnella Baking Co., Chicago, joins Operation Barbecue Relief to provide fresh meals to victims of the tornadoes that ravaged central Illinois on Nov. 17. A truck filled with Gonnella bread is on its way to Washington, Ill., the town that was hit hardest. Between 250 and 500 buildings were damaged or destroyed in this small town of only 15,000 people east of Peoria.

Relief efforts are being spearheaded by members of the Illinois Barbecue Alliance: David Raymond of Sweet Baby Rays, Chicago, and Barry Sorkin, owner of Smoque, Chicago. One of the missions of the Illinois Barbecue Alliance is to use its “common passion and collective resources and skills to provide aid, relief and support wherever it is needed most.”

Operation Barbecue Relief will provide up to 2,000 meals a day for the next seven days to individuals and families affected by the tornado. Thanks to the generosity of the food companies involved, up to 14,000 meals will be served.

“Along with other members of the baking industry in Chicagoland, we are proud to do our part to assist those in need during a devastating time,” says David Gonnella, national sales manager. “We are fortunate to be in a position to help our community. Receiving a hearty lunch or dinner does so much more than just nourish the body. Knowing there is a meal waiting means people can immediately focus on getting their lives back in order instead of worrying about how to feed their families.”

Family-owned and -operated, Gonnella Baking Co. has bakeries in Illinois: one each in Chicago, Aurora and Schaumburg.