Hunger & Food Assistance

CCO Food Pantry

In the 1960’s John F. Kennedy brought the issue of hunger and poverty to the forefront of American politics. He did so by reestablishing the Food Stamp Program that had begun several decades before. This government subsidized program has gone through several changes since its inception. In 2008, the Food Stamp Program became known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program has assisted hungry families and individuals throughout America to purchase nutritious foods from participating stores. Food assistance is offered to people at or below the poverty line.

In recent years these vital programs have been significantly reduced. In 2013, the federal government reduced the SNAP program by 5%. This may seem like a small reduction, but studies conducted by Feed America and the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) reflect a significant number of families and individuals who visit food pantries in order to pay for necessities, such as, medication, transportation, school, and utilities. We have found this to be true among our pantry attendees at CCO.

Food assistance for many people is a homeless prevention program. Meaning that a growing number of folks need consistent on-going food assistance in order to pay rent or cover the very basics of life. CCO’s food pantry program is one of our longest running services. We are grateful to be a positive help to our neighbors in need. Our weekly pantry is filled with nutritious foods, including fresh produce, from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The pantry is entirely staffed by faithful, hard working volunteers, some of attended the pantry in past years.

The food items and work force are provided without charge but we do have utility and security expenses. Consider donating today! Be a part of the good things that are happening every day at CCO!

Thank you!

“I am giving you $11.00…”

Sweet Donation Letter

Recently, CCO received this sweet letter from a young supporter:

Dear Cornerstone, I am giving you $11.00 so you can feed the poor people and give them drinks. You guys could buy some nice hot soup so the poor people will have nice delicious hot soup.”

Wow! We are never too young (or too old) to care for others! If you are interested in donating to CCO click the donate button on the right. Your support helps homeless families and individuals receive safe shelter, nutritious meals, and intensive case management services.

Thank you!

CCO Men Celebrated at Holiday Dinner!

Men's Shelter Christmas Party blogger-image--1639520058
On Friday we had our annual Christmas party for the men who stay with us at Cornerstone. It was also attended by those who were once homeless and are now housed, and also by some of the homeless men who sleep outside in the neighborhood.
We had a great meal of bbq chicken, pork chops, mac’n’cheese, spaghetti, rolls, salad and cake. It was delicious and they all loved it.
Each man received a bag with a variety of gifts. We were able to give away presents like hoodies, hats, gloves, scarves, high quality dress-shirts and pants, peanuts, chocolates, flashlights, hygiene kits, gift cards and many other things.
Everyone who attended was incredibly grateful and had a wonderful time. They kept saying “thank you” over and over again!
Men who are experiencing homelessness, are often ignored and forgotten during the Christmas season. Many of these men do not expect anything. They, unfortunately, are expecting to be ignored and forgotten again.
So, it is always a joy to be part of this and to surprise them. It is always a joy to see the unexpected delight and happiness form on their faces, knowing they have been remembered and loved!
….and isn’t this what Christmas is all about?

….isn’t this why the Christ Child came into the world, bringing a new Kingdom of Love? A Kingdom that elevates, saves and surprises those who are sick, marginalized and abandoned?
Surprising people in our dark world, with unexpected rays of love and light!
Surprising people, who think all is lost, with new gifts and new hope!
Surprising people, who’ve been cast aside by this world, by remembering them and making sure they know they are loved and not forgotten!

Fighting Hunger Everyday!

CCO Kitchen

This week, many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving by enjoying a special meal with friends and family. CCO shelter guests are no exception. We are planning a yummy Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. While Thanksgiving is a special day with a special meal, everyday nutritious meals are served from the CCO kitchen. We are honored to fight hunger by preparing and serving food to hundreds of shelter guests each day.

For over 15 years CCO has enjoyed a valuable partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). The GCFD is Chicago’s food bank supplying over 650 pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters across the city. From July 2013 through June 2014 CCO received 502,000 pounds of food from GCFD, with an estimated value of $806,000. Fresh fruits and vegetables accounted for 25% of the total. Through our fabulous Hunger Walkers, grants and subsidies, we paid nothing for these valuable food items and have a remaining food credit of $1,506. The benefits are astonishing! We want to say a special thank you to our Hunger Walkers, GCFD, and all who have served or supported our meal programs. Thank you!

CCO Veteran Recognition Dinner

Take a moment to view the photo album from this years CCO Veteran Recognition Dinner. The CCO kitchen prepared a delicious meal that was enjoyed by all our shelter guests, our veterans were honored, and Theresa McCall sang beautifully for everyone. The National Veterans Art Museum provided military art mugs for our veterans. It was a beautiful evening for our CCO guests, staff and veterans.

 

Read our Article on DNA Info!

lou malnati

On July 22, CCO is hosting a dine out fund raising event at participating restaurants across Chicago. Adeshina Emmanuel, DNA journalist, wrote about the “Extra Helping for the Homeless” benefit. Read his article here.

If you haven’t already made plans to dine out on July 22 choose from the growing list of restaurants supporting Cornerstone Community Outreach. From 5 – 25% of your dining tab will be donated to CCO at no added expense to the diner. Take your family out for a delicious meal and help alleviate hunger and homelessness in Chicago!

An Extra Helping for the Homeless

More restaurants are joining the CCO Dine out Event! On July 22 participating restaurants throughout Chicago will be donating 5 -25% of your total tab to CCO. The list is growing everyday. Our newest additions are, Sonic Restaurant in Uptown and Lou Malnati’s Pizza. Frequent updates can be found on Facebook.

Dine out to help alleviate hunger and homelessness in Chicago!

lou maliati

Pizza! Pizza!

Little Caesars Love Kitchen

The big orange Love Kitchen visited CCO last week. Little Caesars employees volunteered their time to make delicious pizza’s for CCO shelter guests. Preparations were made from the Little Caesars food truck parked on Clifton Avenue. What a great way to volunteer and help alleviate hunger! Thanks Little Caesars!

Learn more about Little Caesars Love Kitchen by clicking here.

Got Milk?

 

Milk

Got Milk? The CCO dining room serves over 500 nutritious plates of food each day and milk is an important part of the meal. Milk is packed nutrients that help kids grow and keep adults healthy.

However, iit is a costly essential. Would your church or civic group be willing to purchase milk on a monthly basis? Your gift would provide a protein-packed drink for the children, women and men sheltered at CCO.

We rely on the donations of our supporters to continue to serve our shelter guests. Consider donating today! Thank you!

Alleviating Hunger in Chicago

 

CCO Food Pantry

Each week the CCO Food Pantry provides nutritious food items to over 150 pantry attendees. “Grammy”, pictured in blue, has been a long time pantry volunteer. She works weekly along with a small army of folks who give their time to offer food with a smile and a word of encouragement.

Would you like to volunteer to serve at CCO? Click here if you would like more information on volunteering your time and energy.

Are you interested in joining Team CCO at the Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk? The Hunger Walk is a 3.1 mile walk through Chicago’s beautiful downtown, lake front area. Each person walking for CCO will increase our food credit by 224 pounds with the Food Depot. The credit is used to purchase food for our shelter guests, food pantry patrons and dinner guests. Click here for more info about the Hunger Walk.

Thank you!