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Monday in Lansing: Scenes from a community adjusting to quarantine

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (March 16, 2020) – Broadcast media and social media have served to disseminate a lot of information quickly about the coronavirus pandemic. But walking and driving around town at the beginning of a strange new week offered more personal glimpses of the local response:

A Gordon’s Food truck makes a delivery to TF South High School (18500 Burnham Avenue). The school will continue to offer meal service although classes have been replaced with e-learning through the end of March. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Troost Owner Renae Fentress calls in a curbside order to staff inside. Troost (18155 Roy Street) set up curbside service in response to Governor’s Pritzker’s ban on dine-in eating for Illinois bars and restaurants. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Troost is a convenient stop for Melissa Anderson (left) and Dona Hays-Smith, who teach at Coolidge Elementary School (17845 Henry Street) right down the street. The two stopped for some morning fuel before heading to a staff institute day to prepare for e-learning during the District 158 closure. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Manny Delgado noticed his neighbor’s newspaper on the sidewalk, so he delivered it to the door for him. The two neighbors have been looking out for each other for many years, and Manny says the coronavirus won’t change that. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Lansing teachers from District 158 supported Lansing Mancino’s during their lunch break. Mancino’s (3300 Ridge Road) held a morning meeting to figure out the best way to continue serving customers during the pandemic. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
A steady flow of customers visits Three Roosters Produce (3224 171st Street), which has been able to keep up with demand for everything but bottled water. Store manager Daisy Herrera (in blue) says they have maintained their regular prices except in a few cases where their vendor raised prices. The Three Roosters restaurant in back of the store will continue to provide meals for take-out. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
From left: JoEllyn and Vince, owners of JJ Kelley’s (2455 Bernice Road), speak with Jeff Gajewski who works for LARC, an organization that provides opportunities for over 100 developmentally disabled adults. LARC’s day programs will be closing for at least three weeks in response to the Governor’s directives. LARC also houses and feeds 44 clients in 11 group homes throughout Lansing, and Gajewski is figuring out ways to ensure those 11 homes will have access to food. “We’re not in a crisis,” said Gajewski, “we’re just in an unprecedented situation. But we’ll figure it out.” JoEllyn and Vince discussed how they might be able to deliver hot meals to those homes. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The Muñoz family—Gilberto, daughter Ximena, wife Martha, and son Emiliano—spent the day together at their restaurant, Taqueria la Soga (19267 Burnham Avenue). They will continue to offer carry-out meals, and they’ve added some Lenten specials to the menu. Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding that is rich in taste and rich in Lenten symbolism. The bread represents the body of Christ; the syrup represents His blood; whole cinnamon sticks symbolize the wood of Christ’s cross, and cloves symbolize the nails that pierced His hands and feet. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

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Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Awesome job Lansing Journal and what spirit and goodwill we have in this town. Lansing proud!

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