We solicit donations and Sponsoring support from both music lovers and all those individuals and companies who want to give back to the community by addressing “food insecurity,” which means helping those who have little or no sources of food for themselves or their families. So, who do we help? Where does the money go? Read below and on the linked pages to learn about the nonprofits we are contributing to this year.
Care For Real
Care for Real was established in 1970 by Rev. William Johnson of the Epsicopal Church of the Atonement, Rabbi Herman Schaalman of Emanuel Congregation and other members of the Edgewater Clerical Rabbinical Association. This organization, which is now known as the Edgewater Community Religious Association (ECRA), wanted to provide emergency help to victims of fires in “Arson Alley,” the Kenmore-Winthrop corridor between Foster and Devon. It was intended to be a short-term solution to a specific problem. However, it soon became clear that there was a need in Edgewater for an ongoing safety net for neighbors in need. Today Care for Real is the safety net for the entire Edgewater community.
Today, on average, CFR distributes almost 60,000 pounds of food each month. The nonprofit purchases most of their staple foods from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Local retailers, including Costco, 7-11, Aldi’s, Swedish Bakery, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, True Nature Foods and Panera Cares regularly donate produce and bakery goods. And the community supports Care for Real with individual donations and food drives sponsored by houses of worship, schools, businesses, block clubs and residential buildings.
Purchased food is selected for variety, nutrition and with respect for religious beliefs and ethnic preferences. For the homeless, CFR distributes specially packaged foods that do not require refrigerated storage, can openers or cooking. In addition, Care for Real provides special food baskets for Thanksgiving, Eid al-Fitr and Christmas to make those holidays brighter for our neighbors.
Care for Real runs a clothes closet that distributes “gently used” donated clothing free of charge to clients. A special effort is made to have warm coats, hats, scarves and gloves available for needy neighborhood school children. Last year, approximately 300 children received the clothes they needed to make it through the winter. These children also received backpacks and school supplies at the start of the academic year.
CFR also provides children’s diapers and cleaning and personal-hygiene products as well as home health care items (canes, adult incontinence items, skin care, etc.) when they are available. For more information please visit Care For Real’s web site.
Since our beginning the Chi-Town Jazz Festival has maintained the closest relationship with Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities believes that access to adequate, affordable and nutritious food is a basic human right. Freedom from hunger is a prerequisite for individuals and families to live productive, healthy and dignified lives. Read more about what they do here.
The Hyde Park Kenwood Food Pantry gives out groceries including fresh produce every Saturday from 10 AM to 1 PM at the Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave. A case manager is also available, and the pantry also gives away clothing and personal hygiene items as available. Serving the community since 1981, this Food Pantry is part of the Hyde Park Kenwood Hunger Programs, a
501(c)3 organization with Hyde Park Union Church as the fiscal agent. They serve around five hundred individuals per month; roughly one third of our recipients are age 18 or younger, and nearly the same number are age 60 and above. Please visit their site for more info: http://hpuc.org/mission/hunger-programs/
Top Box Foods
Chi-Town Jazz Festival has supported hunger relief in the Chicagoland area for almost 8 years. We ask many of the city’s great jazz musicians to donate their talents to perform in several venues during a week in March. We ask the venues to offer their stages and donate their entrance fees. And we solicit donations and Sponsoring support from both music lovers and all those individuals and companies who want to give back to the community by addressing “food insecurity,” which means helping those who have little or no sources of food for themselves or their families. So, who do we help? Where does the money go? In this and the next few posts we’ll tell you. Click here to learn about one of the nonprofits we’ve been working with for the past few years, Top Box Foods.
Here’s a visual reminder that the Chi-Town Jazz Festival starts in two weeks, on 3/5/17. Click for schedule details.
This year’s Festival begins in just 3 weeks. We have a series of exciting nights of music and they are all performed for the best cause, supporting hunger relief in our area. Please plan to attend. Enjoy. And join our effort. Thanks.