On behalf of our entire team, we wish you – our clients, volunteers, and supporters – safety, health and peace during this trying time. During the COVID-19 crisis, we will post updates here about our programs and any important news we have to share. Included at the end of this post are the ways you can support the Pantry.
Nourishing Hope is committed to serving Chicagoans in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Not only are we helping the most vulnerable populations in our community, but as businesses of all kinds close their doors in response to COVID-19 resulting in increased unemployment, many have been forced turn to a food pantry for the first time. It will take all of us to step up, chip in, and lend a hand to weather this unprecedented emergency – together.
- It is with deep sadness that we continue to see racial inequity plague our city and our country. The recent civil unrest is a sign of the mounting pain, grief, and anger over the longstanding and systematic oppression that people of color – in particular, our Black neighbors – face every day. At Nourishing Hope we believe Black Lives Matter and we remain a trusted resource for our neighbors across the city. We are here for anyone who needs our services and are ready to greet everyone with the respect, dignity, and compassion we all deserve.
- In addition to serving 45+ Chicago zip codes through all of our programs, we’re also supporting local leaders organizing food and supply giveaways in South Side communities. We will be partnering with different organizations on a weekly basis and are providing food and behind-the-scenes support as needed, allowing our South Side neighbors to get food directly in their own communities. Over the past couple weeks, we supported Pastor Chris Harris at Bright Star Community Outreach in Bronzeville, and partnered with Pastor Walter Turner of New Spiritual Light MB Church in South Shore. This week we’re supporting one of our long-time partners, La Casa Norte, at a pop up at their Back of the Yards site.
- We are proud to announce that Nourishing Hope is a 2020 Impact Grants Chicago recipient! The $100,000 grant will go towards our critical food and social services programming, the need for which has drastically increased during COVID-19. Congratulations to all of our fellow winners! Check out the big announcement here.
- Senator Dick Durbin, co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Hunger Caucus, visited our temporary site at Wrigley Field on May 26! We’re so glad to have the support of Senator Durbin and the Chicago Cubs during this crisis.
- We’re thrilled to be featured along with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Pilot Light as great ways to volunteer in Chicago “for the food philanthropist” in Thrillist! Check out the article here and learn more about getting involved and giving back.
- Finally… We were live in Times Square! Our very own Megan Evans (0:07) and Kandis Howard (0:28) were featured on a continuously running, iconic Times Square billboard! Huge thanks to Feeding America and Coca-Cola for including us in this showing of gratitude for emergency responders on the COVID-19 front lines!
- We appreciate your patience and understanding as we temporarily adjusted our service hours between June 2 and June 5 due to ongoing protests in the Lakeview and Wrigleyville neighborhoods. All distribution hours are back to normal.
- RCN is extending their Internet First program through June! It’s important that internet service is accessible as many of us navigate working from home, e-learning, and connecting to other important news on the web. Internet First offers affordable internet access to qualifying low income households: visit internetfirst.com for more information.
- Our final Wrigley Field food distribution will be Saturday, June 20! As such, we will be adding another Tuesday distribution at our Sheridan Market (3945 N. Sheridan Rd.) starting on June 23 from noon to 2pm – in addition to our 4pm to 7:30pm evening distribution! Please note, box packing will still take place at Wrigley Field to help keep up with the demand for food assistance. Thank you to the Chicago Cubs for joining us in the fight to end hunger throughout our city.
- Welcome aboard to our new Pantry Assistant, Sarai, and our new Social Services intern, Casandra!
- We are still in urgent need of volunteers! Are you healthy and bored at home? Do you want to give back to your community? Volunteering is an essential service during Illinois’ stay at home order! Tell a friend and sign up on your personal site! NOTE: In particular, we would appreciate the help of volunteers who are fluent in Spanish.
How to Support Our Work
- Donate: We have a critical and ongoing need for financial contributions to keep our neighbors healthy and fed. Every $1 provides 8 meals – click here to make a gift now!
- Volunteer: As we anticipate the need for food increasing in the coming weeks, we will need the help of healthy volunteers to help us pack groceries, sort food, and other essential tasks for our most vulnerable communities. Currently, all volunteer orientation sessions are being held virtually. New volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a video orientation link and steps to become an active Nourishing Hope volunteer. Existing volunteers should continue to follow standard procedures to sign up for shifts.
- In-kind contributions: Donating food to help stock our shelves will be essential. Many food donations from our grocery partners have sharply declined, and our supply costs are likely to increase. Our most-needed items this week are listed below. Large cases of shelf stable items, like those available at Costco, are especially valuable to us. For more information on in-kind donations, please contact Bill Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, at email@example.com.
• Cases of peanut butter
• Cases of canned tuna
• Cases of canned vegetables
• Cases of canned fruit
• Cases of canned beans
- Masks: As we continue to respond to COVID-19, we will need more masks to protect our clients & frontline employees and volunteers! If you are able to donate masks, please drop them off at either our Sheridan Market or Hub location. Thank you to everyone who has already contributed masks—we are so grateful for your generosity!
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support during this time of uncertainty. Follow us on social media for the latest from Nourishing Hope and updates from the front lines of the fight against hunger: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Take care and stay well,
The Nourishing Hope Team