Mary Ellen Diaz

Mary Ellen Diaz is a French trained chef and former executive chef of Lettuce Entertain You restaurants. In 2002, during a maternity leave, she decided to help out at the soup kitchen at Ebenezer Lutheran Church at Paulina and Foster. This was the inspiration for First Slice – a non-profit food service dedicated to offering healthy meals to those who cannot afford the cost.

From that first experience, First Slice blossomed to four locations including one in Evanston. The profits from these cafes allow them to produce more meals for those in need. Truly, First Slice has found an innovative way to help the community. The same food that is sold in the cafes is also provided to the less fortunate in the community.

First Slice has developed partnerships with many local social organizations to help deliver their hot meals in the most effective manner. The Night Ministry, Streetwise, Broadway Youth Center, and Epiphany Church of Christ all benefit from the hot meals program. Altogether, First Slice delivers over 32,000 free meals per year.

Mary Ellen Diaz

What does it mean to give the first slice of pie to those used
to living on crusts? It means dignity – often for the first time.
It means hope. It means the possibility of not only
sustenance but joy. And you can help.

Click here for a short video.