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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Common Pantry Fundraiser Returns Friday, Raising Money To Feed North Siders In Need

Proceeds from ticket sales, donations and the silent auction will benefit the nonprofit food pantry’s mission, which has been assisting North Siders since 1967.

A pre-COVID photo of Common Pantry's I Am Your Neighbor fundraiser.
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RAVENSWOOD — Neighbors can support Common Pantry during a hybrid fundraising event Friday evening featuring live music and hosted by Chicago Wolves announcer Jason Shaver.

Doors open 6:30 p.m. at Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. Single tickets to attend in person are $125 and can be bought here. In-person attendees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and be at least 21 years old.

People also can watch a livestream of the event starting 7 p.m. via Common Pantry’s Facebook page.

This is the fundraiser’s 10th year. Proceeds from ticket sales, donations and the event’s silent auction will benefit the nonprofit food pantry’s mission. The ATHENA Fund, through the Chicago Community Trust, is matching every dollar donated up to $50,000, said Margaret O’Conor, Common Pantry’s executive director.

Some of the silent auction items include a VIP Experience with LA Lakers’ Talen Horton-Tucker, two four-day general admission tickets for Lollapalooza 2022 and a sunset sail on a Hunter 34 sailboat with two bottles of wine and a cheese and charcuterie platter from L&M Fine Foods.

Last year’s event was completely virtual. Vaccines being widely available allowed organizers to stage a hybrid event this year, O’Conor said.

Common Pantry has been offering assistance to North Siders experiencing hunger and food insecurity since 1967. The organization also provides housing assistance, legal referrals, support for people experiencing homelessness and job search help. 

Throughout the pandemic, there’s has been increased demand for emergency home deliveries, O’Conor said. Food insecurity remains an acute problem, and the pantry is still “well over” the pre-pandemic demand, she said.

Common Pantry has raised $150,648 of its $250,000 goal as of Thursday. 

“All of the funds from the I Am Your Neighbor event go towards our operations, which is really key,” O’Conor said. “It’s our biggest fundraising event.”

Earlier this year, the nonprofit bought the building at 3900-10 N. Lincoln Ave., about three blocks away from its current home inside Epiphany United Church of Christ. The goal is to expand operations into the new building by 2022. The nonprofit is finalizing which architect they’ll be working with for the project, O’Conor said.

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