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The CHIditarod Foundation

A Not For Profit organization created to help solve Chicago’s hunger challenges.

Food and food security is an essential and necessary ingredient in life; we believe in Chicago and that food has the power to build strong communities. The Foundation is the official nfp that provides funds raised during the CHIditarod to vetted 501c3 organizations in the Metropolitan Chicago area that are engaged in solving their community’s hunger challenges. Our mission is to help solve Chicago’s hunger challenges at a local grassroots level across many spectrums: food drives, community gardens, fresh produce, education, grants, and really fun events like CHIditarod.

The CHIditarod Foundation seeks to alleviate hunger and solve the root causes of hunger through creativity, engagement and direct action. We accomplish these goals by creating unique, creative, participatory events that raise funds (like CHIditarod!), and providing grants to local 501c3 organizations that share our hunger-fighting mission.

Our Mission

  • Solve food insecurity challenges in metropolitan Chicago.
  • Create and host charitable events that are unique, participatory and inspiring.
  • Grant funds to other charitable organizations in line with our mission and tax-exempt status.

What Have We Done?

Donated $5,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository

In support of their children’s programs. The grant will supply nearly 9,000 pounds (or the equivalent of 7,500 meals) of nutritious food and fresh produce for distribution throughout their Healthy Kids Markets and Kids Cafe programs in Chicago Public Schools and throughout Cook County.

Donated $5,000 to Purple Asparagus

In support of their Delicious, Nutritious Adventures program, where Chicago Public schoolchildren taste new foods, learn where they come from, why they benefit their bodies, and how to make simple and healthy meals with their families. The grant will pay for a year’s worth of food and supplies for two new schools.

Donated $5,000 to Angelic Organics Learning Center

In support of their Eat to Live Urban Farm and Garden (E2L) development project. E2L is a comprehensive urban agriculture and food systems development project located in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. E2L reached over 650 children and adults in 2013 through programs with schools, a quarter-acre community garden, and a half-acre urban farm.

Donated $5,000 to Peterson Garden Project

In support of their Pop Up Victory Gardens, Operation VEGucation food growing classes, and Grow2Give food donations and community outreach that recruit, educate and inspire a new generation of gardeners who want to gain control of their food supply, grow their own produce organically and make urban gardening the norm—not the exception.

The Board of Directors

Devin Breen, President
Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign. Founder and Executive Director of the CHIditarod Foundation. Co-Founder and President Emeritus of the Bold Urban Renaissance Network 501c3, a community arts organization based in Chicago. Co-founder and performer with the Pyrotechniq Fire Performance Troupe. Production Tools Engineer at Groupon, Inc. He is dedicated to the betterment of life for all people on this planet, but focuses his mission on improving his home town of Chicago.

Diane Back, Secretary
Diane is a Masters of Social Work candidate concentrating on Community Organizing with Children, Youth & Family, while also pursuing a minor concentration in Interpersonal Practice and a School Social Worker specialization. She received her bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from the University of Maryland. In addition to her part-time work at the National Center for Institutional Diversity, she participates as a member of the School of Social Work Curriculum Committee, and interns with the School Social Worker and Social Justice advocates at Novi High School. Her past internship was at Bright Futures, a 21st Century funded after-school program addressing youth voice and needs for at-risk youth. Specializations include communications, event/ project management, and business development. She is passionate about promoting youth voice, social justice and dialogue – with a desire to continue advocating for youth and access to education; she dedicates her spare time towards food justice and sustainability issues.

Elizabeth Breen, Treasurer
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lawrence University. Founder and President of the Full Moon Fire Jam, NFP. Manager and a performer of the Pyrotechniq Fire Performance Troupe. Her specialities include community building & leadership, event planning, networking, accounting, and social media. She is keenly interested in food, health and urban farming and actively maintains a large garden in Chicago.
The CHIditarod Foundation is an Illinois Not-For-Profit Corporation IRS FEIN: 46-1053624

What is the History?

Back before we teamed up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository we donated food and funds to the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation (CAHF), a 501c3 food pantry in Chicago. They were local and doing good things to help feed the hungry — which has always been our goal & mission (along with having a little fun).

As the race grew in popularity, our teams asked race organizers if they could raise funds using online fundraising tools and donate those contributions to charity. We of course agreed and set out to find online partners who specialize in raising funds for charity. In 2011, all funds raised by teams benefitted the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation. In 2012, CHIditarod partnered with the offices of Alderman Michelle Harris to identify charitable organizations working to improve access to organic fruits and vegetables in our City’s “food desert” neighborhoods. We partnered with the Cottage Grove Heights Community Coalition, a 501(c)3 organization who is using the funds in partnership with the City of Chicago to build a community garden in the 8th Ward. New friendships were made, and CHIditarod participants really began to see the impact their actions have on the local community.

In 2013, The CHIditarod Foundation was incorporated as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation. We seek to continue creating the annual CHIditarod race, and to grant funds raised by CHIditarod to local, vetted 501(c)3 organizations in the Chicagoland community that are fighting hunger, focused on local food sustainability, and making an impact in their community. We will continue to grow our food drive initiatives to help food banks in the metropolitan Chicago area. This event furthers our tax-exempt status by fulfilling our mission through the large food drive component, fundraising, and creating unique, participatory events.

CHIditarod Foundation is awaiting determination of our charitable status from the IRS. Thank you for your patience as this process gets completed. Since inception, CHIditarod Foundation maintains accounting and operational guidelines pursuant to section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The most important thing that we want you to know is that your funds are to be directly applied to achieving CHIditarod hunger-fighting mission.

Thank you for your trust, your creativity, and for your willingness to help the hungry.