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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

West Side Residents Can Sign Up To Get Free Groceries Delivered

Organizers will deliver boxes to residents' doors biweekly in North Lawndale and Little Village. The boxes will contain up to 45 pounds of fresh fruits, veggies, meat and dairy.

Produce at a Forty Acres pop-up market.
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NORTH LAWNDALE — A neighborhood group is preparing to launch a free food delivery program for North Lawndale and Little Village residents affected by the pandemic.

Residents can fill out this form to sign up for the Food Delivery Collaborative, which was developed by the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council.

Organizers expect the program to begin making deliveries by mid-February.

The community group designed the food delivery program as a way to feed families with students who rely on schools to provide them with breakfast and lunch each day.

“As a food desert, the community has struggled with food access for a while,” said Rodney Brown, a member of the council’s steering committee. “So the focus is on making sure we’re feeding school children and their families. … But we’re also looking to feed as many people in North Lawndale as possible.”

The food and deliveries are funded by a $500,000 gift from a donor who wishes to remain private. The program is facilitated by Chicago Cares. Depending on how many people sign up, the program will run for three to six months, Brown said.

Organizers will deliver boxes to residents’ doors biweekly. The boxes will contain up to 45 pounds of fresh fruits, veggies, meat and dairy. They aim to serve 300-400 families in North Lawndale and Little Village, Brown said.

The group is being deliberate about providing residents with fresh, whole foods in an effort to promote healthy eating, Brown said.

“Our communities tend to suffer a lot with conditions like diabetes, hypertension, things like that. So we’re hoping to improve eating habits to address some of those concerns,” Brown said.

But healthy eating isn’t just about access to fresh produce, Brown said: It’s also essential for residents to know how to turn those groceries into nutritious meals that people want to eat.

“We’re asking our vendors that we’re working with on this program to provide menus with the delivery so that people can learn how to cook fruits and vegetables that are healthier than what they have had in the past,” Brown said.

Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.

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