Largest grant in Nourishing Hope’s 53-year history to be used toward growing partnerships and serving more young people on Chicago’s South and West Sides 

Nourishing Hope is the winner of the first-ever $1 million Northern Trust Anchor Award, according to an announcement Thursday from Northern Trust. 

The transformative investment — the largest grant award of Nourishing Hope’s 53-year history — will serve as a catalyst for growth to serve more young people on Chicago’s South and West Sides. The philanthropic strategy of Northern Trust in Chicago is focused on serving young people ages 16 to 24 years old on the city’s South and West Sides.

The one-time award effectively supercharges Nourishing Hope’s plans to grow partnerships with trusted organizations in communities that have long endured racial inequities.

“We’re humbled and deeply honored to receive the first-ever Anchor Award from Northern Trust, a transformative investment in our work and impact,” said Kellie O’Connell, CEO of Nourishing Hope. “It’s a true testament to the hard work of our staff, volunteers and partners. We’re so proud and grateful for our Nourishing Hope community.”

Through Nourishing Hope’s innovative online market, people can skip food pantry lines and order fresh and nutritious food online for pickup. By partnering with other trusted organizations, Nourishing Hope expands access to the online market to more people throughout the city.

With the help of the Anchor Award, Nourishing Hope will build capacity and infrastructure to grow more online market partnerships and, in doing so, provide food and social services to more young people on the South and West Sides.

Youth participants in Nourishing Hope’s online market program will receive an average of 720 meals a year. They will also have access to case management services each time they receive food. 

“The Anchor Award marks a bold new chapter for Nourishing Hope, but there’s much work to be done,” O’Connell said. “We’ll need the continued support of our donors and volunteers to both sustain our existing programs and extend our services to more people and families in need.”

Over a three-year period, Nourishing Hope aims to add at least six new community partners each year on the South and West Sides. By the end of year three, Nourishing Hope will have added more than 20 new community partners. 

Nourishing Hope is also exploring the feasibility of opening a new food pantry on the South Side, as well as expanding capacity at our existing West Side pantry. Any new food pantry site would be in partnership with a trusted community organization. 

“Nourishing Hope has a compelling model of ‘Food for today. Hope for tomorrow,’ and it provides food, mental health counseling and social services to tens of thousands of Chicagoans every year,” Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Grady said. “We are pleased to play a role in expanding the scope and scale of a compassionate, results-based nonprofit organization addressing fundamental human needs.” 

Northern Trust has a long history of groundbreaking philanthropic support. In 1893, Northern Trust founder Byron L. Smith seeded a relief fund for victims of a devastating fire that broke out at the World’s Fair. Since then, Northern Trust’s charitable footprint has helped establish Chicago’s nonprofit pillars such as The Art Institute, Field Museum, United Way of Metro Chicago, Metropolitan Family Services, Noble Schools and Braven.

Northern Trust invited select past or current Northern Trust Foundation grantees to participate in the Anchor Awards process.


About Nourishing Hope 

Nourishing Hope, formerly known as Lakeview Pantry, is a dynamic social services organization providing food, mental wellness counseling and other social services, such as job and housing assistance, to our Chicago neighbors in need. In proud partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, we provide the equivalent of more than 4 million meals a year. Founded in 1970, we strive to serve the needs of the whole person — with respect and dignity, always.

Nourishing Hope’s innovative first-of-its-kind online market was launched in 2019 in partnership with and thanks to the generous support of the Thierer Family Foundation.