Chicago Lights is one of the five local organizations that received a grant from the CHIditarod Foundation in our 2015 grant cycle. Chicago Lights offers a variety of programs throughout the year from education to dance, urban farming to social services. The grant money they were awarded went to its Consumer Choice Food Pantry and to offer more nutrition assistance by distributing additional emergency food sacks. Hunger and food scarcity is one of the root causes CHIditarod tries to fight, and this organization made sure that people are able to have a place to go.
The Social Service Center (SSC) alleviates food insecurity through three avenues: its Consumer Choice Food Pantry, its emergency feeding program, and by providing help with applications for government food assistance programs. Of the 1,800 clients served by the SSC: 75% are male; 76% are African American; 95% are over 25 years of age;and over half (52%) are homeless.One of their goals for this year was to have The Pantry regularly stocked with protein options including milk, eggs, and a variety of meats, items which have not always been available. They were able to achieve this because of the donations that have been made to CHIditarod, and they grant made available to them. Prior to the grant from the CHIditarod Foundation, approximately 12 of the visits each month would have been without high-quality protein sources, with the CHIditarod Foundation’s support protein packages were available for all visits.
Patrons of The Pantry felt
“Having access to milk, eggs, and meat is so helpful because I can save my food stamps to purchase other fresh items at the grocery store.”
“The canned items are helpful because they last longer, but having meat and milk and eggs allow me the chance to eat better.“
Joi Brooks Foundation Relations Officer for Chicago Lights extends the gratitude of the organization
“Thanks to the CHIditarod Foundation’s support, guests of the Chicago Lights Social Service Center have had a much more consistent and more nutritious supplemental food supply available to them through the Consumer Choice Food Pantry and the emergency food program. We are excited and hopeful about our continued collaboration and thank the CHIditarod Foundation for its efforts to reduce hunger in Chicago. Thank you!”