Northwestern partners with Evanston on food pantry

Northwestern University is partnering with the City of Evanston to establish an emergency food pantry for community members who face economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pre-packaged boxes of food, including non-perishable items, produce and protein will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at James Park in Evanston every Wednesday beginning April 15 through the end of May, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or while supplies last.

“Northwestern remains steadfast in its commitment to our Evanston community,” said Craig Johnson, Northwestern’s senior vice president for business and finance. “In these challenging times, and as many of our neighbors face uncertainty, we seek to do our part so we can emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient as one Evanston community.”

The state-wide stay-at-home order and the shutting down of non-essential businesses has increased food insecurity throughout Evanston, officials said.

“COVID-19 has not only challenged our healthcare system, it has impacted many residents’ ability to put food on the table,” said Evanston Mayor Stephen Hagerty. “I am deeply grateful to Northwestern, Valli Produce, Alderman Cicely Fleming, our Health & Human Services and Administrative Services Department staff, volunteers and all those stepping up to meet our residents’ needs during this pandemic.”

Dave Davis, executive director of Neighborhood and Community Relations at Northwestern, said the new pantry will play an essential role in strengthening the local food system for all Evanston residents with fresh and nutritious meals.

“Neighborhood and Community Relations has worked closely with the City of Evanston and our community leaders to help support our most vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Davis said.

To facilitate social distancing and ensure the safety of staff and patrons, pick-ups should occur in a vehicle. Participants arriving on foot will be directed to an area where they can pick up a food box. Drivers are asked to enter the site by driving southbound on Dodge Avenue and turning right onto Mulford Street. There is a limit of one box per household. All participants must show a valid ID with their current Evanston address to qualify.

Additional food resources are available at cityofevanston.org/COVIDresources or by calling or texting 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may dial 311 in Evanston.

Community members can support the Food Pantry by making a financial contribution at cityofevanston.org/pantrydonations.

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