CHIditarod Foundation

A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization created to help solve Chicago’s hunger challenges.

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.

  • 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.

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 Have We Done?

  • Collected more than 252,419 pounds of food for Chicago’s hungry.
  • Awarded a total of $411,350 through 41 individual CHIditarod Grants to local nonprofits fighting hunger in their communities.

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, CTO
Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign. Founder and President of the CHIditarod Foundation. Co-Founder and past-President of Bold Urban Renaissance Network 501(c)(3). Co-founder and past-performer with the Pyrotechniq Fire Performance Troupe. Senior Software Engineer at Apple, Inc. He is dedicated to the betterment of life for all people on this planet, but focuses his energy improving his hometown of Chicago.

Jennifer Carroll, Secretary
PhD in cultural anthropology and an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Washington. Faculty at Elon University and adjunct faculty at Brown University. When not organizing charitable mayhem, she is a researcher in social medicine and a nationally recognized expert on opioid overdose risk and prevention. She currently lives in Durham, NC, but considers Chicago her second home.

Mark Grutza, Treasurer
Masters of Accounting, Northern Illinois University. Global FP&A Manager at Walgreens Boots Alliance after 10 years in Accounting and Audit. Mark first got involved with the Chiditarod organization as a racer in 2011 and joined the foundation’s board in 2016. When not on a run, drinking a local IPA, or building a giant Pac-man, he’s generally just trying to make the world a happier place.

Stephanie Esposito
Studied Radio Talent & Production at Columbia College Chicago. Became involved with CHIditarod planning in 2010. She has worked in the nonprofit field and with youth for the past 14 years. Has a deep passion for the sport of rugby, active blogger, youth coach and supports and volunteers with CARFU and Rugby Illinois. As native Chicagoan, is deeply invested in the bettering of the city, volunteering, and spreading positivity.

Leslie Anne Engel
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Syracuse University. Charter member, Past President, and Past Vice President of the Off The Street Club Junior Board, for which she created the Annual OTSC Halloween Candy Drive. Tutor for 10+ years for the Time to Read program. Past member of the Chicago Associate Board Presidents’ Council. She works in advertising as the Director of Operations for the Advanced Analytics and Insights team at Starcom. Leslie’s goals are to have fun while doing good work, be a positive influence on those around her, and make sure everyone has always had enough to eat.