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The CHIditarod Foundation

A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit 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 501(c)(3) 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?

The CHIditarod Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is registered with the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Trust act. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. IRS EIN: 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 501(c)(3) 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. Thank you for your trust, your creativity, and for your willingness to help the hungry.

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 graduate from the University of Michigan with a concentration in Community Organizing with Children, Youth & Family; minor 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.

Jennifer Carroll
A native Texan who claims Chicago as her second home. An instructor at the University of Washington where she is completing a PhD in anthropology and an MPH in epidemiology. She is a founder of the Chicago Urban Devils’ Golf Enthusiasts’ League (CUDGEL), and a proud member of the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance in Seattle. When not organizing charitable mayhem, she studies the implementation of global health programs, especially harm reduction and drug treatment efforts in Eastern Europe. You can find her writing and photography of the recent Ukrainian revolution and resulting military crisis in the Yale Journal of International Affairs, The Seattle Times, American Ethnologist, and the UW REECAS weblog. She rides a fixed gear, and is a tiny bit smug about it. But not too much. www.jenniferjcarroll.net