Milwaukee restaurant to start providing meals and tutoring to students

NOW: Milwaukee restaurant to start providing meals and tutoring to students

MILWAUKEE, WI (CBS 58) – Since the pandemic, Tandem Restaurant has since switched gears to a more community oriented concept.

Outside the business stands a long white tent which will be transformed into a tutoring center with socially distanced seating.

Tutoring sessions will be held by volunteers and free for families.

The sessions will also include a free meal.

“Teachers out here are really trying, but it’s a new reality and in my community-here in Lindsey Heights-I know it’s going to be tough to make it through this school year,” explains Caitlin Cullen, owner of Tandem.

Cullen has had her farm-to-table restaurant for the past three and half years in the city’s north side. Since the pandemic, she has switched her model to help address the needs of her community.

“Since March 18 we’ve distributed over 56,000 meals to people who really need some help,” says Cullen.

Most recently, the Milwaukee Community Fridge was installed outside the building which has decreased the need for them to provide food assistance.

Now their focus is tutoring for students in grades 4th-10th.

“The whole point of us doing this is just to be helpful,” says Cullen. “We have the resources, we have the space; where I can have 20 kids outside and have them be safe. We’ve got a captive audience of people interested in volunteering.”

Cullen says she’s already received several hundred applications for volunteers-who explain their strengths and weaknesses, and are screened with a background check.

“We’ll do three sessions a day for 20 different students,” explains Cullen. “The students will come in, spend 30 minutes getting a meal, with a few parental signatures they could come in and access resources as frequently as a daily bases.”

Cullen explains the business was fortunate to receive donations while doing their meal program which will now also help with the tutoring and providing meals.

“In times like these, if we don’t change our behavior and try to make the world around us a better place, we’ve totally missed the point,” says Cullen.

They’re hoping to begin sessions on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

There are also paid positions available.

You can find the applications for both tutoring and volunteers here.

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