Help the Pilsen Food Pantry Renovate its New Home

The Pilsen Food Pantry opened its tiny doors in January 2018. Little by little, with the help of our volunteers, staff, supporters, and donors, we have grown our anti-poverty services to not only include emergency food, but also clothing, school supplies, medical equipment, books, and special holiday distributions. The COVID pandemic put a tremendous strain on people everywhere and the pantry responded to needs by tripling outputs.

Since its beginning, the Pilsen Food Pantry has served over 90,000 households with clothing, books, school supplies, medical equipment, 3.4 million pounds of food, and more. The pantry is open Monday through Friday, has only four full-time and three part-time employees, and relies on a wonderful volunteer community to get resources into the hands that need them most.

Although we had hoped to stay on Throop Street forever and are so grateful for the opportunity to use the space with the community, we were not able to purchase the old Holy Trinity Church from its owner. Throughout our struggle to stay on Throop Street, we never stopped looking for an alternative location. We purchased 2124 South Ashland Avenue on 3/3/23 and it is a space that can accommodate the pantry, clothes closet, literacy services, wellness programs, and community events. The Ashland location is also more accessible for people with disabilities and we hope to develop a green roof in 2024.

Our new home will be wonderful, but needs a little bit of work first. From moving around walls to widening the service ramp to replacing floors, we have a lot of repairs and finishing to perform. We estimate a renovation budget of $175,000-190,000. We have lots of financing ideas - from community painting events to working with local trade unions to fundraising. An anonymous donor has committed to a $75,000 match and we hope you can help us achieve this ambitious goal.

How we will use your support:
  • HVAC repairs
  • Tuckpointing - outside and basement walls
  • Widen ramp and service door
  • Glass storefront with ADA entrance ramp
  • 1st floor (pantry & closet) demo/framing/drywall/paint

  • 2nd floor (community space & teaching kitchen) demo/framing/drywall/paint

  • Bathroom repairs (burst pipes x 3)

  • Basement west stairwell replacement
  • 1st floor flooring
  • 2nd floor flooring
  • Basement flooring
  • Electrical repairs

Thank you for helping us complete our first five years and we look forward to many more years of serving Pilsen and its neighbors. Onwards & upwards!!!!

With gratitude and optimism,
Pilsen Food Pantry Staff: Steve, Natalia, Jesse, Veronica, Tina, Andi, and Bill (plus our cats Bodega & Meeko)
Figueroa Wu Family Foundation Board: Evelyn Figueroa, MD, Alex Wu, MD, Brit De La Parra, Amy Bolton, Cynthia Cycon, Jaime Garza, Cristina Galvan, Frank Monreal
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Evelyn Figueroa
Chicago, IL
Figueroa Wu Family Foundation
Registered nonprofit
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