Actually, there’s a lot more to Leon Greenberg than food. But ask Greenberg—the new Manager of CJE’s Home-Delivered Meals and Kosher to Go® Programs—what he enjoys, and the first thing he answers is cooking for family and friends. That’s good, because in his position, he deals a lot with food. But he knew that before he applied for the position. He was a volunteer at Lieberman Center (where the Programs are based), which is how he found out about the position … and the rest is history.
As Manager, he makes sure that delicious and nutritious fresh and frozen meals are produced and delivered to individual clients, subscribers and organizations like clockwork. He coordinates the drivers, puts in the orders to the kitchen, reviews menus and updates pricing. Home-Delivered meals (HDM) are subsidized by the government, and recipients must meet eligibility requirements in order to receive them. The meals themselves must conform to strict nutrition standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with one requirement being that they include a pint serving of dairy. The meals are also cRc-certified, and that same pint serving of dairy must be delivered in a plastic bag separate from the entree container (to be consumed later by those who keep kosher if the meal contains meat).
With 230 HDMs delivered daily, that’s a lot to keep track of, but it’s accomplished by utilizing a cadre of over 33 devoted volunteers (including two women who have been delivering meals together for 18 years (see article page 13), as well as loyal long-term deliverers Board Member Alan Greene and his wife Carol. On average, a remarkable 5,000 Home-Delivered Meals and 1,750 Kosher to Go meals are delivered per month!
Greenberg has been introducing program enhancements such as streamlining the ordering of meals for Organizational clients, like hospitals and other nursing homes. These clients utilize our services because they have residents or patients who will only eat food prepared under strict kashrut guidelines. Also, Greenberg conducted a cost analysis of Kosher to Go meals. After doing so, he found that not all meals were created equal. He used his previous business experience to institute cost-based pricing, charging for the meals according to how much was involved in producing them. This resulted in a very slight price increase on some items, the first since 2012. As an example, the delicious turkey dinner is now priced at $10.35, but with mouth-watering gravy, sweet potatoes and green beans, it’s definitely worth it!
It’s no surprise that Greenberg has worked in the food industry for over 10 years. Most recently, he has supervised Prepared Foods at Whole Foods, managing all catering orders from their legendary kitchen. He started his own baking company called the Rugelach Man that specialized in rugelach and black and white cookies, selling them online and in local grocery stores. He has owned or managed a couple food establishments and has been an executive at a few financial service businesses.
A native New Yorker, he transplanted to Chicago nearly 25 years ago and lives with his partner Lynn and their blended family of four kids and their dog Sadie in the Lakeview area. A long-term volunteer who learned to always give back from his mother, Greenberg volunteered for 11 years (from 2006 to 2017) as Chairman of the 57th Street Art Fair, a well-known, juried art festival in Hyde Park that attracts talented participants from near and far. Greenberg managed committees that implemented tasks necessary to prepare and set up for this large, multi-faceted event. This included signing vendors, putting out calls for artists, contracting with musical talent and more. For other enjoyment besides cooking, he also likes tennis, photography and considers himself a Deadhead, an avowed follower of The Grateful Dead.
If you would like to order Kosher to Go or you know someone who might qualify for Home-Delivered Meals contact the CJE SeniorLine at 773.508.1000. To begin a career of Volunteering and giving back like Leon, call 847.929.3040.
The Most Authentic Chicago Pizza Poll
Leon Greenberg claims to still know where to find the most authentic New York pizza, bagels and nova lox in New York! Do you think you know Chicago pizza like Leon knows New York pizza? We challenge our readers to take part in our Most Authentic Chicago Pizza Poll on Facebook and Instagram. Go to our pages located here: facebook.com/cjeseniorlife, twitter.com/CJESeniorLife and @cjeseniorlife on the Instagram app and vote for what you think is the most authentic Chicago-style pizza within the borders of the city only. We’ll report the results in our next issue.