Our Staff

Kellie O’Connell

Chief Executive Officer

Kellie O’Connell is the CEO of Nourishing Hope, formerly Lakeview Pantry, a dynamic social service organization providing food, mental wellness counseling and other social services to anyone in need. She led the growing organization, which was founded in 1970, through the immense challenges of the pandemic and economic recession.

A native South Sider, Kellie firmly believes that no one should go hungry. For more than 20 years in nonprofit and governmental roles, she’s worked toward equitable access to resources and opportunities for all people.

Since joining the organization in 2016, she’s expanded the strategic vision of the organization to serve more people in communities across the city. Under her leadership, the organization has expanded its food storage and distribution capacities, launched a new online market program, grown its mental health and social service programs, and collaborated with a growing number of partners all across the city.

In May 2022, Kellie also led the rebrand of the organization to Nourishing Hope and the grand opening of a new 21,600-square-foot headquarters in order to serve more people throughout Chicago.

Kellie believes in civic duty and collaboration. She’s been a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow since 2020. She’s also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, a board member for Guitars Over Guns, and a member of the Chicago Food Equity Council’s food and nutrition programs work group.

Kellie holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago. In 2019, she graduated from Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management Executive Education Program.

Under her leadership, Nourishing Hope has received numerous social impact awards, most recently, the Mayor’s Medal of Honor, as well as the Chicago Health Magazine’s Food Hero Award, LISC Chicago Neighborhood Development Award, and the Chicago Innovation Award.

To Kellie, these honors reflect her team’s hard work, innovation, and dedication in challenging times.

A single mom, Kellie loves spending her spare time in the city she grew up in, exploring everything it has to offer with her teen daughter, Brennan. They share a passion for giving back and helping others.

Nourishing Hope Exists Because of the Support of Our Neighbors.

With multiple food distribution programs that deliver the equivalent of 4 million meals each year, plus thousands of social service visits that empower healthy lives, Nourishing Hope strives to build a brighter future for all Chicagoans. Join us today!

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