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$100,000 to help alleviate food insecurity in Chicagoland!

    Thanks to all of the teams and individuals who hustled their families, friends, and
    colleagues to FUNdraise in 2023, the Chiditarod Foundation was able to give out
    $100,000 in Community Grants for both programs and infrastructure projects.
    Another truly mind-blowing year of fundraising enables us to help eighteen
    organizations that are benefiting from the generosity of donors who have given so much
    to the cause to help solve food insecurity in the Chicagoland Area.

    Program Development Funds

    Care for Real

    Care for Real is a source of food for thousands of neighbors each year. Locations in Edgewater and Rogers Park on Chicago’s North Side distribute food to neighbors six days a week, and the Edgewater pantry also hosts Care for Real’s clothing closet, pet pantry, and Home Delivery Program. Care for Real helps vulnerable neighbors and families facing food insecurity with dignity.

    Dion’s Chicago Dream

    Dion’s Chicago Dream focuses on identifying and combating food insecurity throughout the Chicagoland area, using nutritional philanthropy as a catalyst to build community and transform lives. Their direct-to-consumer fresh produce service provides families with five days’ worth of healthy food options for consumption every week at no cost, and their state-of-the-art logistics operation allows them to hit as many households as possible in each delivery run.

    Ecosystems of Care – Market Box

    Market Box has grown into a volunteer-led food distribution project that bulk buys food from Midwestern farms and delivers it for free to over 440 south side households each month. The CHIditarod grant will supplement its growing base of recurring donations, allowing the organization to maintain the quantities of fresh produce that communities depend on as SNAP benefits expire and food costs are increasing, as well as continuing to support local farmers.

    Edward G. Irvin Foundation

    The Edward G. Irvin Foundation established the Woodlawn Community Food Pantry in 2019, where they focus on distributing healthier food options to their clients, including fresh produce and wholesome proteins. They also provide nutritional education to reduce incidence of diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease in the communities they serve. They plan to use the funds to enable food delivery service to senior residential buildings.

    Free Root Operation

    Free Root Operation addresses the root causes of gun violence on Chicago’s South and West Sides through wellness and nutrition programming, cultural activations, and a method of critical care based on research centering community wisdom through their BLOOM program. CHIditarod funds will support monthly grocery deliveries to Bloom participants and their families.

    Glenwood Sunday Market

    The market’s mission is to make sustainable, regionally grown and produced foods accessible to its whole community. Thanks to CHIditarod grants since 2022, the organization provides matching grants toward purchase of all Link/SNAP approved foods, and this year’s grant will continue the matching program to increase food accessibility for food insecure people as well as sustaining the local food shed.

    Green City Market

    At Green City Market, when SNAP users spend $25 of SNAP benefits, GCM (and CHIditarod) provides an additional $50, tripling the purchasing power of Chicagoans facing food insecurity. One in seven households in Cook County grapples with food insecurity, and government nutrition assistance is the lowest it has been in three years.

    Housing Forward

    Housing Forward is a leading provider of emergency safety-net assistance and supportive housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in suburban Cook County. Their interim housing program provides accommodations for up to 90 days, and while guests are there they provide all basic necessities including hot meals. In 2022, 96 individuals participated in Housing Forward’s Interim Housing Program, receiving 15,124 nights of shelter and 45,250 hot meals. CHIditarod funds will directly provide hot meals for those individuals and families in 2024.

    Just Roots

    In partnership with local health providers, Just Roots’ Fresh Food Farmacy program addresses the connection between access to fresh, organic food and diet-related health outcomes. They will use CHIditarod funds to teach families to develop a deeper understanding of the connection between diet, nutrition, and health outcomes and will provide culturally affirming food paired with a suite of hands-on educational programs.

    Nourishing Hope

    One of Chicago’s largest and longest-operating food pantries, Nourishing Hope provides food access, case management, and mental health counseling free of charge to all residents in the City of Chicago. They will use the funds to distribute food through two physical pantries, an online market, and home delivery programs.

    The Outreach House

    The Outreach House provides compassionate and effective assistance to individuals and families in the York Township area with dignity and without judgment. Their four programs are First Things First, Food Pantry, Clothes Closet and Walk-in Assistance. Guests can visit the food pantry, set up like a small grocery store, once a week, and choose the food they need for their families. This grant will help acquire and distribute over one million pounds of food in 2023.

    Swedish Hospital Foundation

    Swedish Hospital’s Food Connections program aims to strengthen the hospital’s ability to address food insecurity and remove food access as a barrier to health. The program identifies patients living in food insecure households, increases awareness and connection to resources, and creates sustainable initiatives to address food insecurity and promote healthy eating. Food Connections includes a food pantry, food bag at hospital discharge, Veggies for Health, and a community garden.

    United for Better Living Inc.

    UBL works in East and West Garfield Park and the Austin community on Chicago’s west side, providing programs and services for adults, teens and children who face violence, poverty, food insecurity, illiteracy, unemployment, and access to affordable housing. Their primary programs include two food pantries serving up to 250 individuals each week.

    Infrastructure Grants

    These grants provide organizations with urgent, emergent, and one-time expenses such as new shelving; refrigeration equipment; vehicles; irrigation equipment; building repairs for safety, accessibility, or code compliance, and so on.

    The Chicago Chesed Fund

    CCF provides life altering basic human services for people with a food pantry, free clothing and furniture stores, employment services, government benefits advisors, to medical expense assistance and children’s mental health services. Chicago Chesed Fund’s grant will contribute significantly to the purchase of an electric golf cart that the organization will use to transport items between their warehouses, benefiting thousands of Chicagoans in need.

    The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance

    The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance has been working incrementally over the past few years to make the Giving Garden more accessible for volunteers and class attendees by installing raised beds and leveling pathways. In an effort to ensure that people of all abilities can access urban agriculture education, their goal with this funding is to transform their previously in-ground growing space into a model for inclusive and accessible gardening.

    Global Garden Refugee Training Farm

    Global Garden Refugee Training Farm is 100 refugee families who turned a one-acre vacant lot in Albany Park into a green oasis where they have grown food for themselves and their neighbors since 2012. They plan to use the funds to build a secure indoor office on site where paperwork, seeds, and equipment may be stored to ensure the organization’s continuity upon the founder’s impending retirement.

    Dignity Diner

    The Dignity Diner provides weekly meal services, and in 2022 began a community garden to provide fresh produce to guests. Dignity Diner plans to use its CHIditarod grant to further remodel the kitchen and provide building maintenance in order to better serve members of the Chicagoland community experiencing food and housing insecurity.

    Dignity Diner

    The Dignity Diner provides weekly meal services, and in 2022 began a community garden to provide fresh produce to guests. Dignity Diner plans to use its CHIditarod grant to further remodel the kitchen and provide building maintenance in order to better serve members of the Chicagoland community experiencing food and housing insecurity.

    Star Farm Chicago

    Funding from this grant will support furnishing the brick-and-mortar Fresh Market and Shared Kitchen space, expanding access to fresh, nutritious, locally-produced food, featuring Star Farm produce and other locally sourced fresh produce, eggs, meat and dairy. The shared kitchen will build on existing nutrition and cooking education programs. Funds will support the purchase of a display freezer, two shelving units, and an oven.