(Above, our new temporary packing site in Avondale – read on to learn more!)
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.
- We were proud to partner with Centers for New Horizons and University Church Chicago for a pop-up food pantry in Bronzeville on Friday, July 17! The pop-up ran from 2 – 5pm and was a success — we served 250 households, or a total of 800 individuals!
- As our time at Wrigley Field has drawn to a close, we are so grateful to the Chicago Cubs for stepping up to the plate and opening their ballpark to our team for the past few months, allowing thousands more in our city to get the groceries they need. Because of their support, we packed more than 110,000 boxes of food at Wrigley Field alone, and distributed more than 2.5 million pounds of nutritious food in the past four months!
No matter what team you root for, let’s give it up for the Chicago Cubs organization for joining ours. We quite literally could not have done it without them! Watch and share our special thank you message as a few guests and partners help us thank the Cubs and the Ricketts Family for opening their space and hearts to us — and to all Chicagoans in need.
- … However, our team has been hard at work behind the scenes planning for this scenario, and we are happy to announce that we have opened a new temporary site located in Avondale at 2718 W. Roscoe! There is plenty of space at this new site for us to continue our safe and spatially distant box packing operations. Shifts at Wrigley were consistently full, and that is such an amazing testament to the energy and commitment of our stellar volunteers. We look forward to continuing to settle in and welcome volunteers to this new Avondale location!
- Nourishing Hope was fortunate to receive a generous grant from Nourishing Neighbors Jewel-Osco Foundation! The funds are from the Help Feed Families During the Crisis fundraiser, part of Jewel-Osco’s Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief Initiative. Every penny will be used to make sure the COVID-19 crisis isn’t a food crisis for our community. The need we’re seeing in our community is great, but so are our supporters. We’re glad to be part of the #NourishingNeighbors Family!
- Throughout June, we celebrated equality, inclusion and pride! At Nourishing Hope, we support the LGBTQ+ community now and always in our mission to end hunger for all. We stand by our LGBTQ+ neighbors, partners and colleagues during Pride – and beyond! Click here to read about what Pride means to our Social Worker, Taneka Taylor.
- 2020 has proven challenging in many ways for our city, but we are proud to serve the Uptown neighborhood! We’re grateful for Uptown’s commitment to the nonprofit community. Watch the Uptown Chamber’s #UptownProud video here (and check us out at 1:30)!
- If you’re out and about driving through Chicago, you may spot our brand new box truck! This truck alone allows us to transport 4x more food than any of our vans — as much as the rest of our fleet, combined! Thanks so much to In Sight Sign Company for making it look so pretty!
- Our Chief Program Officer, Jennie Hull, joined the Dave On Call podcast to discuss not only the increased need we’ve seen here at Nourishing Hope, but how we’ve met it! Listen to episode 13 on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
- Have you tried our Online Market yet? As we all continue to adapt to social distancing and safety precautions during COVID-19, doing your grocery shopping via your mobile device makes more sense than ever! Our Online Market allows you to pick up your groceries quickly and with minimal interaction from your choice of pickup site. What’s better? You can customize your online shopping cart to get the food YOU want and need! Click here to get started creating healthy, delicious meals today!
- Welcome aboard to Andrew Taylor, who joins our Volunteer Department as the 2020 Tyson Foods Community Partnership Intern! He will be working with our Volunteer Coordinators to learn more about Nourishing Hope and gain hands-on experience. The internship is a partnership between Illinois Campus Compact and Tyson Foods to provide an invaluable opportunity for select full-time college students to gain paid professional experience while making a positive impact in the community. The organizations hosting Tyson interns also receive a generous grant!
- Have you heard we’re hiring? Click here if you think you’d be a great fit for a part-time Pantry Coordinator or a full-time Programs Assistant!
- As a token of our appreciation for all they do, our amazing volunteers who’ve stepped in during our COVID-19 relief efforts will be receiving a Starbucks gift card! Big thanks to Starbucks and to Chicago Cares for facilitating this gesture of gratitude!
- Thank you to the awesome volunteers who joined us at The Hub from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Joffrey Ballet, including Joffrey Ballet Executive Director Greg Cameron! We couldn’t do what we do without the ongoing support of these incredible teams. Thanks for all you do for our community!
- We are still in urgent need of volunteers! Do you want to give back to your community and check out our brand-new Avondale location? 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 tasksfor 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 food and supply costs have increased. Our most-needed items this week are listed below. For more information on in-kind donations, please contact Bill Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, at email@example.com.
- Peanut butter
- Canned tuna
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- 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