WEST TOWN — A West Town nonprofit is able to expand its in-demand food pantry program during the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a matching grant from GoFundMe.
Northwestern University Settlement House, 1400 W. Augusta Blvd., is a social services organization that has been serving Chicagoans for more than 125 years. After raising $10,000 on Giving Tuesday, the group was awarded one of 300 grants from the GoFundMe Charity.
The Settlement has raised more than $12,000 through GoFundMe. With the help of other partners, all donations up to $37,500 will be matched.
The support is well-timed: The organization’s food pantry saw a nearly 300 percent increase in weekly visitors March 16-April 29, said Northwestern Settlement’s Sarah Frasco.
During that time, volunteers distributed more than 2,000 bags of food.
“This pandemic has put the inequalities of our society under a microscope,” Frasco said. “Those who need the most help have been hit the hardest.”
The food pantry is open 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday-Thursday. It will be closed Thanksgiving week, with regular hours resuming Dec. 1. The pantry will be closed the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28.
Volunteers are needed for four-hour shifts that run 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
Frasco said volunteers are asked to stay for the duration of their shift, so only sign up if you can help all four hours. You can sign up for a shift by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business owners wishing to arrange a larger food donation can email Yasmin Rordriguez, director of Northwestern Settlement’s Emergency Services, at email@example.com.
Founded in 1891 by leaders of Northwestern University, Northwestern Settlement served the West Town community, then home to primarily German, Polish, Irish and Scandinavian immigrants.
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