Eligibility Requirements for Services

We’re Here to Help!

Nourishing Hope serves thousands of people in the city of Chicago through our various food and social service programs. Each program has different requirements for service. Please read the following for more information.

Our current service area is the city of Chicago. If you live outside of Chicago, we can help refer you to an agency closer to your home.

Sheridan Market

Our Sheridan Market serves anyone who lives in the city of Chicago. We do NOT require proof of income but you will be required to attest that you meet the official guidelines. Please visit the Sheridan Market page for more information.

The Online Market

The Online Market serves anyone who lives in the city of Chicago. We do NOT require proof of income but you will be required to attest that you meet the official guidelines. Please visit our Online Market page for more information.

El Mercadito

El Mercadito’s food access program serves anyone who lives in the city of Chicago. We do NOT require proof of income but you will be required to attest that you meet the official guidelines. Please visit the the El Mercadito page for more information.

Home Delivery Program

Our Home Delivery program serves our elderly, disabled, and homebound neighbors who cannot physically make it into the pantry. Home Delivery clients must fill out an application to be eligible for the program. Please click here for more information. The Home Delivery service area is bounded by the following streets:

  • North of North Avenue
  • South of Devon Avenue
  • East of Western Avenue

Social Services and Mental Wellness Programs

Our Social Services and Mental Wellness programs have no residency requirements which means we serve anyone in the city needing our assistance. Please reach out to our Social Services department at socialservices@nourishinghopechi.org or by calling 773-525-1777 x 216 to schedule an appointment with a case manager or counselor.


Please call us for any questions regarding your eligibility for services:
(773) 525-1777

Office Hours:
M – F, 9am – 5pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for food services?

Our food access programs currently serve our neighbors whose incomes are below the government’s guidelines. We do NOT require proof of income but you will sign an official form that states you meet the guidelines.

Until further notice, we do not have service area boundaries for our food programs except Home Delivery (due to COVID-19) and are serving residents from throughout Chicago. The service area for our Home Delivery program is bounded by the following streets.

  • North Avenue to the South
  • Lakeshore Drive on the East
  • Western Avenue on the West
  • Bryn Mawr Street on the North

If you do not live within our area, please contact the Greater Chicago Food Depository at 773.247.3663 or www.chicagosfoodbank.org and click on “Need Food” to find an organization near you.

When should I come, and should I come early to wait in line?

Our hours of operation vary by location, so please check each location’s specific hours under the “Get Food” menu on our website. You should NOT plan to arrive early. Thank you for your cooperation with this request.

Please know that we are committed to providing you with the same quantity and quality of food no matter what time you arrive, and we will never run out of food.

What do I need to bring with me? What documents?

If it’s your first time visiting Nourishing Hope, the most important thing to consider is how you will get the food home. Many people bring their own shopping carts with wheels to transport their food. You may bring your own bags and boxes, or we can give you bags and boxes if you need them.

Please bring documents or a piece of mail with your name and current address to your first visit: this will help us for a couple of reasons. First, it will speed up our process and make your wait time shorter. Also, it helps us to make sure we record your information correctly. We don’t require these documents on your first visit – but it’s very helpful if you could bring them. After your first visit, we will periodically again ask for proof of identity and address.

If you are interested in Home Delivery service, please note that there is an application process. For more information and to apply, please contact Ana Petersohn at (773) 525-1777 x236 or ana.petersohn@nourishinghopechi.org.

What type of food will I receive? Do I have a choice?

Typically, a household of one person will get about 50 pounds of food, or a two week supply. The food we distribute changes every day but usually you will get a selection of frozen meat, fresh produce, dairy, eggs, milk, bread, canned good and dry goods.

People who are experiencing homelessness or who don’t have a stove and refrigerator will receive a collection of ready-to-eat foods, including dry goods, canned food, and fresh produce.

We understand that you may receive some food items you’re not fond of in our pre-packaged distribution option. You may give your unwanted items to a neighbor in need, or let the staff member or volunteer know you don’t want something and they can return it inside. PLEASE DO NOT discard these items outside the building or in the Walgreens parking lot (at our Sheridan Market).

We understand that this model does not allow for choice of products, but to reduce the chances of virus transmission, we need to provide service as quickly and safely as possible. We will resume normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so. Please know that you will receive a variety of healthy foods from each of the main categories including: dairy, meats, dry goods, and produce.

What is the food safety information for my groceries?

Please see below for food safety information about the groceries we provide.

What if I am physically unable to come to the pantry?

Please note, our Nourishing Hope Sheridan Market at 3945 N. Sheridan Rd. is fully handicap accessible. If you are unable to come in, we have a form from the State of Illinois you need to sign that gives permission for someone else to pick up your food. This form is called a “Proxy.” Please click below to access the Proxy form.

If you are a caregiver for someone who needs food and cannot physically come in to our sites please print out the Proxy form, have the food recipient sign it, and bring it with you.

Download the Proxy Form for our Sheridan Market in English

Download the Proxy Form for our Sheridan Market in Spanish

In addition, if you cannot physically make it into the pantry, you may fill out an application for Home Delivery here.

Is there parking available?

Only street parking is available at our sites but all are easily accessible via public transportation. Clients who have a car may park in the loading zone with your flashers on for a brief period of time to load groceries.

“Nourishing Hope has changed our lives. Thanks to the Pantry, we have healthy, colorful food every night for dinner and my kids have snacks to bring to school. I don’t have to worry about what we will eat tomorrow, because Nourishing Hope is there to help.”

Gloria, Nourishing Hope Client

Nourishing Hope Exists Because of the Support of Our Neighbors.

With multiple food distribution programs that deliver more than 2.8 million pounds of food to our neighbors each year and social services that help clients achieve independence, Nourishing Hope aims to end hunger for good. Get help today!

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