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Hope's New Address

Twelve years ago, New Life Centers opened its doors every Friday in the Little Village neighborhood to help provide food for those who needed it most.

When the pandemic hit, the need for food increased beyond what we’ve seen in our 43-year history. So to meet the increased need, New Life Centers and the Greater Chicago Food Depository partnered together to convert a former corner store into a state-of-the-art food pantry—New Life Center’s brand-new, more accessible home.

Today, it’s open five days a week; serving more families and individuals than ever before. In fact, walk-up and drive-through distributions that once helped 100 families a week have grown to 1,000. That means each week, nearly 5,000 people are receiving the food they need to survive and thrive!

“Hope has a new address,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot at a ribbon-cutting event for the new facility.

Yet New Life isn’t just about food. Executive director Matt DeMateo points out that the pantry’s neighborhood has been among the hardest hit, not only by the pandemic, but also by systemic injustice and violence. That’s why New Life offers more than just food: case management, mentoring, after-school education, computer access and more are available to every guest who walks through their doors.

“Food is the hook; it’s the open door,” Matt says. “But our secret sauce is the relationship, the community.” New Life is making a difference in this community—because beyond meeting the immediate need for food, they are addressing the root causes of hunger and empowering residents to overcome cycles of poverty and disinvestment.

Growth and community impact like this are made possible with the help of generous friends like you who give to the Food Depository. People across the Little Village neighborhood will continue to have access to healthy food because of you.

Thank you for giving generously to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. You’re making a difference in Pan de Vida’s neighborhood and at more than 700 community partners and programs across Chicago and Cook County!