MEALS ON WHEELS EXPANDS NOURISH CHICAGO FOOD PANTRY
In June 2022 Meals on Wheels Chicago opened Nourish Chicago Pantry to support seniors struggling with food insecurity. Today we are announcing the expansion of the program with Nourish Chicago Pop-Up Produce Markets! These events will feature a variety of fresh produce, providing the same grocery-store quality items for seniors in need as the regular Nourish Chicago Pantry.
This expansion is part of a continued effort to put health on the pantry shelf for seniors. Nourish Chicago Pantry advances Meals on Wheels Chicago’s mission to improve quality of life and maximize independence for seniors in our community. The cost of food and limited transportation to full-stock grocery stores can limit a senior’s access to fresh produce and pantry goods, and seniors living on a fixed income are often forced to choose between food, medicine, and the cost of housing. With the added pressure of inflation, food costs rising sharply, and the recent end of COVID-19 emergency SNAP benefits, many seniors in our community are making difficult financial decisions and forgoing trips to the grocery store.
“Because of the reduction in SNAP benefits and hearing so many seniors tell us they are struggling to afford food, we knew now was the time to expand Nourish Chicago Pantry,” said Meals on Wheels Executive Director Elise Geiger. “Seniors living on fixed incomes often do not have access to adequate amounts of food, affecting their overall health and wellness. Nourish Chicago Pantry and these new pop-up markets provide seniors in our community with a source of healthy fresh food distributed in a dignified manner at their local senior center.”
The Nourish Chicago Pop-Up Produce Markets will take place from 1-2pm at the following locations:
Central West Ogden Senior Center, 2102 W Ogden Avenue: April 5, May 3, June 7, July 12, August 2
Northwest Copernicus Senior Center, 3160 N Milwaukee Avenue: April 17, May 15, June 20, July 17, August 21
Southeast Atlas Senior Center, 1767 E 79th Street: March 23, April 20, May 18, June 22, July 20, August 17
Southwest Senior Center, 6117 S Kedzie Avenue: April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4
The Nourish Chicago Pop-Up Produce Markets will take place from 12:30pm – 1:30pm at the following location:
Northeast Levy Senior Center, 2019 W Lawrence Avenue: March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, July 25, August 22
These pop-up events are expected to collectively provide enough food to create 215,750 healthy meals for over 7,650 seniors. This is in addition to the regularly scheduled Nourish Chicago Pantry held at the Central West Senior Center, which provides the equivalent of 6,875 meals every month. People aged 60 and older are welcome to attend all Nourish Chicago Pantry events.
Joining Meals on Wheels in the expansion over the next few months is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, who will be providing a portion of the fresh produce at the pop-up events. Meals on Wheels Chicago is also grateful to the Department of Family and Support Services for their support and partnership in making every Nourish Chicago Pantry event a success. These programs also rely on donations from the community. If you’d like to support Nourish Chicago Pantry events, please contribute to the Virtual Pantry Drive going on now!