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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Edgewater Nonprofit Receives Grant To Expand Rogers Park Pop-Up Food Pantry

Care For Real is one of 26 community groups to receive grants from the Greater Chicago Food Depository to address food scarcity in underserved communities.

A volunteer brings a cart of fresh groceries to a client at Care for Real Rogers Park.
Courtesy Care For Real
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ROGERS PARK — Nonprofit Care For Real has received a grant from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which will help the the group expand its Rogers Park pop-up food pantry and reach more Latino residents.

Care For Real, based out of Edgewater, is one of 26 local organizations to receive grants from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which is providing the funding to tackle food scarcity in underserved areas of the city.

The groups received a total of $2.6 million, but Care For Real was asked not to disclose the exact amount it received, Executive Director Gregory Gross said.

Care For Real’s pop-up food pantry in Rogers Park was launched at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic as the charity sought to meet exploding demand for food assistance on the Far North Side.

The pantry is open noon-2 p.m. Tuesdays at United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Ave.

With the grant funding, Care For Real will be able to open two days per week instead of one, Gross said. The organization has not finalized details on when it will hold its second weekly pick-up window, he said.

Care For Real will also use the grant to hire bilingual staff to improve outreach toward Latinos in Rogers Park and Edgewater, Gross said. About one-third of the residents Care For Real serves speak Spanish, he said.

“We’re hoping we can shorten the lines on Tuesday and increase the amount of people we can serve,” Gross said.

Greater Chicago Food Depository’s most recent round of grant funding was targeted to food pantries in predominantly minority neighborhoods. The money will help launch four food pantries in Roseland, Englewood, South Lawndale and suburban Dolton.

The Howard Area Community Center also received funding. For a list of the organizations that received grant funding, click here.

Care For Real’s expansion into Rogers Park showed the organization just how much food help was needed in the area, Gross said. Since the pop-up food pantry opened May 19 through the end of December, Care For Real has given away 204,475 pounds of food, enough for nearly 170,400 meals.

This Tuesday — when the city had just received 17 inches of snow — Care For Real’s Rogers Park pantry still provided 231 people with food, Gross said.

The grant funding will help Care For Real run its Rogers Park pantry indefinitely, Gross said.

“There’s definitely a lot of food insecurity,” he said. “We’re committed to remaining in Rogers Park through the pandemic, and hopefully long after that.”

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