CHICAGO—Beginning this month, Beyond Hunger’s Home Delivery program will move to the Chicago-based facility of New Moms. The shared space location enables Beyond Hunger to provide more nutritious food options for the homebound individuals it serves in Oak Park and Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.
“When our community reached out to us for more home-delivered groceries at the beginning of the pandemic, we responded. Almost overnight we transitioned from serving 80 households to nearly 300,” says Executive Director Michele Zurakowski.
On the heels of that rapid expansion, Beyond Hunger moved quickly to stabilize and sustain high levels of service by addressing infrastructural limitations in staffing and storage. Thanks in part to a grant from Greater Chicago Food Depository aimed at expanding food access in Black and Latino communities on Chicago’s South and West sides, Beyond Hunger’s Home Delivery Program serving Austin now has a home there.
Because of its expansive storage capacity, that new home allows Beyond Hunger to more fully realize its commitment to providing healthy food, tailored to individual needs. When program participants talk to staff and volunteers each month to place their order, they’ll be able to choose healthy dairy substitutes like almond milk or highly requested pantry staples like flour. Additionally, increased cold storage means even more fresh produce will be available for them to select.
“We are excited to hear about this move. It means Beyond Hunger can continue their expert response to meeting such dramatically increased needs, but also to offer improved services to homebound Austin residents,” said Darnell Shields, Executive Director of Austin Coming Together.
Beyond Hunger’s Food Pantry and headquarters will continue to operate and flourish out of First United Church of Oak Park at 848 Lake Street, where it will continue to host a twice weekly drive-thru and pedestrian food distribution for communities on the near west side. To learn more about Beyond Hunger’s services and how to get help visit GoBeyondHunger.org.
Beyond Hunger creates solutions to end hunger at every stage of life through our comprehensive programs, from feeding kids when school is out, to providing emergency food to families in need, and delivering groceries to homebound older adults. Our community partnerships help us identify pockets of hunger and meet the need together.