Families in Austin facing hunger issues because of the COVID-19 pandemic can pick up free boxes of food in their neighborhood every Thursday until June 18. But the pantry could use some volunteer help.
In collaboration with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the City of Chicago, Austin Coming Together is running weekly pop-up food distribution events to provide a variety of healthy and nutritious food to residents of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. The boxes of food will contain fresh produce, frozen meat, and shelf-stable items.
The pop-up food pantry will run each Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until June 18 at the intersection of Leamington Avenue and Kinzie Street, near the By The Hand Club For Kids, 415 S. Laramie in Chicago. Boxes of food will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Distribution will be held rain or shine.
Residents can either walk or drive to pick up food boxes (Kinzie is a one-way street going west). All distribution will occur outside to promote social distancing. As boxes will weigh 25-30 pounds, walk-up residents are advised to bring carts to carry food back home.
Volunteer shifts to help at the pop-up pantry run from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone wishing to volunteer needs to go through a one-time training (held virtually) with Austin Coming Together. Volunteers need to fill out a form and indicate which shifts and days they would be available to work. Any questions can be directed to Shavion L. Scott, director of strategic initiatives, at [email protected].
The Greater Chicago Food Depository has teamed up with seven Chicago faith- and community-based groups to deliver food to African-American and Latinx communities on the South and West sides. Truckloads of food will be delivered to pop-up food pantries throughout individual neighborhoods on different days of the week.
The pop-up pantries are open to the public but intended for people in need who live in or near these respective communities.
“Even before the coronavirus pandemic, black and brown households in Chicago were disproportionately affected by food insecurity,” Nicole Robinson, vice president of community impact for the food bank, said in a statement in a Chicago Sun-Times story. “Now the disparities are even more striking.”
More information also is available at the Greater Chicago Food Depository website.