UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry strives to serve vulnerable Chicagoans through reducing food insecurity. We aim to address health and social outcomes through the direct distribution of high quality and culturally-appropriate foods.
1713 S Ashland ave chicago, il 12-4pm mon-fri
Evelyn Figueroa, a family doctor at the University of Illinois since 2005, was inspired to create the Pilsen Food Pantry at UIC in 2017 after learning about a successful food-medical partnership at the University of California at San Diego.
She partnered with the UI Health Pilsen Lower West Family Health Center, Trader Joe's, Imperfect Produce, the Chicago Period Project, Whole Foods, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and others interested in addressing food insecurity in order to build a food pantry that was attached to a medical clinic. The food pantry opened Tuesday, 1/2/18 and is staffed 100% by volunteers that include medical students, family medicine residents, UI Health Volunteer Services, and community members.
Foods available at the Pilsen Food Pantry include culturally-sensitive perishable and non-perishable foods, including fruits and vegetables. In addition, a Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office is co-located to help connect patrons to WIC and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Although some foods might be provided free of cost/at low cost from food rescue, many stock items are purchased at wholesale prices. For example, your $7 donation supports a visit that distributes over 40 pounds of food for a family. All donations towards the food pantry go directly into day-to-day operational costs.
The food pantry hours are 12-4pm Monday through Friday (except national holidays). The pantry also packs meals for the UIC COM Chicago Street Medicine group, a medical service group that delivers healthcare to homeless people. All local residents are welcome.
Future plans for the UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry include food delivery and tracking of social and health outcomes (eg, days missed from work, hypertension control, diabetes control, weight). It also includes expansion to other essential social services such as legal aid and financial recovery support. Please let us know if you/your organization would like to contribute to our pantry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the above links.