Chicago’s Lakeview Pantry Uses Foundation Grant to Meet Increased Demand During COVID-19

Chicago’s Lakeview Pantry Uses Foundation Grant to Meet Increased Demand During COVID-19

Lakeview Pantry is one of Chicago’s largest and oldest food pantries, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Like so many hunger relief organizations around the country, Lakeview Pantry is seeing an increased need for food and services like mental health, unemployment, and benefits support.

To handle the increased demand, the organization has relied on its staff, volunteers, network of partners, and grants from nonprofits, including the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, which granted the Lakeview Pantry as part of its $1.25 million in emergency COVID-19 funding. When the organization received its grant, it immediately put the funding to work to buy more food and increase programming for its Chicago community.

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The organization has started implementing new, creative ways to serve the community, including setting up a temporary food distribution site at Wrigley Field in addition to expanding programming at its pantry sites around the city, with the goals of socially distant outdoor food pick-ups and increased box packing capacity. Lakeview Pantry also initiated a program called “Feed it Forward,” focused on purchasing meals from local restaurants, who are also experiencing economic hardship, and delivering the meals to families in need. The increased demand has also allowed Lakeview Pantry to hire more staff.

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“We’re thankful to our network of partners for stepping up during this time of crisis. We’re serving food to nearly 6,000 people per week, and we couldn’t do it without organizations like the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation,” said Kellie O’Connell, CEO of Lakeview Pantry.

To-date, through funding provided by Dunkin’, its franchisees, and its Foundation, hundreds of thousands of complimentary cups of coffee, donuts, Keurig® K-Cup pods, and Dunkin’ gift cards have been delivered to more than 300 hospitals and emergency sites, and counting. Let’s keep going. Want to thank a local hero for all that they do? Send them a Dunkin’ e-gift card at DunkinCoffeeBreak.com. For every card sent, Dunkin’ will donate $1, up to $100,000, to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation to support health and hunger relief for children in underserved communities. For more information on the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, please visit bringjoy.org.

Continue to stay informed on our response to COVID-19 here and follow the stories of how our Dunkin’ community is coming together to keep America running here.

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