Looking for ways to give back to your community? Volunteering at food pantries or soup kitchens is one of the most common ways to support those in need. Whether you’re preparing, serving, or packing, your help is welcome and makes a difference. Below are some Chicago food pantries and soup kitchens in need of volunteers.
Meanwhile, there are many other volunteer opportunities in the city for whatever specialty or interest you have. Therefore, feel free to check out Chicago Cares and VolunteerMatch for everything from tutoring and mentoring to park cleanup and animal care.
4100 W Ann Lurie Pl, Chicago, IL 60632
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is the hub for a network of more than 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other programs. Programs address the root causes of hunger and target the specific needs of diverse groups, including veterans, older adults, and children.
Individuals and groups can sign up to help repack donated items at the warehouse, staff various FRESH Truck events at community sites around the city, or work other special events. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and sign up—spots fill up fast!
3945 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
With more than 30 staff and a dedicated corps of 5,000 volunteers, Lakeview Pantry serves 15 different neighborhoods throughout the north and west sides of the city. It has multiple food distribution programs, delivering more than 2.8 million pounds of food each year. Not just a food pantry, the organization also offers social services that help individuals be independent.
Adults, children, families, faith-based and community groups, corporate groups, and those with community service requirements are all welcome to volunteer.
1850 S Throop St, Chicago, IL 60608
The Pilsen Food Pantry is run by a staff of four and a team of volunteers. The pantry supports Chicago’s south, west, and southwest sides, working with the Love Fridge, Food Not Bombs, Gage Park Community Council, Instituto Del Progreso Latino, and UIC COM Chicago Street Medicine.
Volunteer opportunities include pantry shopping, home delivery (must have your own car), unpacking, prep, and more. Sign up and schedule a shift here.
4256 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
There are many ways to help at the Irving Park Community Food Pantry, including unloading trucks, packing, sorting, and storing food, picking up donations, and completing home deliveries.
Other roles that aren’t food-centric include interviewing clients, translating, staffing special events, administrative duties, and grant-writing. The Irving Park Community Food Pantry is a volunteer-based organization with a staff of upwards to 90 volunteers assisting with operations. See how you can contribute here.
2859 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60612
The Marillac House Food Pantry is a part of Marillac St. Vincent Family Services, whose mission is to use education and programs to empower and give voice to those in need.
The organization has individual and group volunteer opportunities (some programs are suspended due to COVID-19). Volunteers can help unload and sort food deliveries, set up and take down distribution, and assist clients with shopping. Marillac House also needs long-term grocery delivery drivers to homebound seniors.
There are also other opportunities such as sorting and selling clothes for the thrift shop or joining the Associate Board. Opportunities like tutoring and teaching assistance are currently suspended due to COVID-19. Learn more about volunteering here.
2711 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
The Friendship Center serves in Chicago’s northwest side communities, operating a food pantry four days a week and serving hot meals on Thursday nights. The organization also has delivery services for homebound individuals and also providespet food once per month.
Whether it’s cooking, driving, sorting, or another skill, there’s a volunteer opportunity for you! Food pantry services include sorting, bagging, distribution, and client intake. For Thursday dinners, you can help prep, cook, serve, or pack. Other opportunities include offsite events and activities.
Featured Image Credit: Irving Park Community Food Pantry