People at a food drive
Sep 17, 2021

Transforming lives, one meal at a time

All families deserve reliable access to healthy, nutritious food. As an organization that believes in whole-person, community-focused wellness, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago endeavors to provide our neighbors with the resources they need to thrive.

This Hunger Action Month, we’d like to shine a spotlight on our programs and services that actively combat food insecurity throughout Chicagoland:

At their core, the Y’s Early Education and Child Care (EE&C) programs exist to ensure that young learners are well-supported in their formative years. In addition to child care services rooted in research-backed curriculum emphasizing healthy child development, families enrolled in our EE&C programs can receive formula, diapers, wipes, and meal assistance—including the USDA’s WIC benefits—at no additional cost.

Last year in response to pandemic-related closures, our EE&C programs distributed over 6,500 meals to children and over 3,000 boxes full of meat, fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy to local families.

Additionally, thanks to partnerships with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, University of Illinois Extension, and Dominican University, the Y’s EE&C programs continue to support parents and guardians in promoting healthy eating habits and equitable food access.

The Y’s commitment to fueling youth as they learn and grow extends to our centers as well. The McCormick, Kelly Hall, and South Side YMCAs offer breakfast and lunch to campers and youth enrolled in after-school care, amounting to tens of thousands of meals for our community’s kids.

Families and community members who need assistance accessing food can also lean on the following center-led resources:

  • McCormick YMCA Mobile Food Pantry: first Tuesday of the month from 10:30am-12:30pm; supplied by the Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • Kelly Hall YMCA Mobile Food Pantry: first Saturday of the month from 7:30am-10:30am and every Tuesday from 8am until food is exhausted; supplied by the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Mission of Our Lady of Angels

As a community asset responding to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on local families, we understand that filling resource gaps in our neighborhoods is especially urgent today, and we’re here to serve those in need with dignity and respect.

If you or someone you know could benefit from any of the services listed above, please don’t hesitate to share. Together, we can alleviate hunger in our communities and strive toward a healthier, more equitable Chicagoland.