Thanksgiving is all about spending time with loved ones, eating delicious food, and expressing gratitude for what you have. The holiday season is a great opportunity to experiment with new pie recipes while you reflect on all of the positive things that have happened this past year, such as the return of the Olympic Games, Broadway, and concerts. It’s also important to recognize there are people in need–many of them here in Chicago. Fortunately, there are plenty of local groups that have organized ways we can do our part to spread some good fortune this Thanksgiving.
Interfaith Action of Evanston
This non-profit encourages an interfaith dialogue while supporting people who are hungry or homeless in the Evanston area. Their mission is centered around bringing people together to help those in need and engage in social justice advocacy. All contributions pay for the food, drinks, and supplies at the soup kitchens and hospitality center. Here is more information on how you can get involved.
Niles Township Food Pantry
This group’s motto is ‘Serving Food with Dignity,” and they have plenty of ways we can help them do just that– like donating one of the items from this list. During the holiday season, The Niles Township Food Pantry goes above and beyond by hosting a toy drive to ensure children in the area get a Christmas present. The pantry feeds roughly 6,000 residents every month and is open Monday through Friday with extended hours on Tuesday. While this organization does incredible work on its own, the volunteers here understand the power of collaboration, which is why they partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Greater Chicago Food Depository
At the Greater Chicago Food Depository, volunteers 11 and older repack donated food and other products that come in bulk quantities. Once large packages are broken down and sorted into manageable sizes, they can then be redistributed to food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in Cook County. Volunteers may also be asked to inspect the quality of food within shipments. While this organization will be closed the weekend of Thanksgiving, there are plenty of opportunities to help out leading up to the holiday.
Brace Space Alliance
Consider donating household items, food, or child care essentials to the Brace Space Alliance. This organization hosts walk-up pantries and weekly delivery programs for those in need. BSA also puts together educational resources to support members of the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. Check out their list of highly-requested items here.
Meals on Wheels Northeastern Illinois
This organization provides food for homebound individuals and hospital residents in Chicago’s north shore communities including: Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette-Kenilworth, Winnetka-Northfield, and Glenview. Meals are delivered Monday-Saturday morning, and there are plenty of ways to get involved including: Packing meals, cooking, providing office support, visiting clients, and helping with grocery shopping.
Maple Morgan Food Pantry
Similar to Meals on Wheels, this group offers curbside pickup and grocery delivery for seniors and people with disabilities. For more than 40 years, Maple Morgan Food Pantry has been connecting people in the Chicago area to healthy dietary options. Last year, they provided 310,000 pounds of food to those in need. They accept cash donations to support their efforts to eliminate food insecurity.
Raised in Chicago’s South Side, then later raising her own family in Chicago’s North Suburbs, Melody Rosin spent nearly three decades working for United Airlines. Recognizing a need for change, Melody transitioned to real estate. With over 15 years under her belt, you can count on Melody as a seasoned and insightful agent. Among the benefits of the career switch was the ability to face new challenges in the city she has known her entire life. She gets to work with a plethora of individuals all seeking their dream home, especially in and around Evanston.
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