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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Volunteers Needed For West Town Food Pantry At Northwestern Settlement

Northwestern Settlement received a grant from GoFundMe to launch its food pantry in West Town.

Volunteers assist Northwestern Settlement's food pantry.
Sarah Frasco / Northwestern Settlement / Provided
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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

You can also donate to the food pantry’s GoFundMe fundraiser or buy emergency supplies and household essentials for neighbors from the pantry’s Amazon Wish List.

Credit: Sarah Frasco / Northwestern Settlement / Provided

Business owners wishing to arrange a larger food donation can email Yasmin Rordriguez, director of Northwestern Settlement’s Emergency Services, at

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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