In The News:

Common Pantry Opens $1.5 Million North Center Home To Serve Neighbors In Need
Block Club Chicago

By: Alex V. Hernandez

The pantry offers emergency groceries, monthly fresh produce distribution, weekly hot meals and senior home delivery.

NORTH CENTER — Common Pantry’s new North Center headquarters opened to the public Thursday.

The nonprofit food pantry bought the one-story commercial building at 3900-10 N. Lincoln Ave. for $1.5 million in 2021 with the help of state grants. The new facility will help the pantry serve more neighbors in need, officials said.

The nonprofit’s leaders worked with Wheeler Kearns Architects to design the headquarters and construction began earlier this year.

The new facility features a large community and dining space, a commercial kitchen that will be used for a hot lunch program and a grocery shopping area, said Common Pantry Executive Director Margaret O’Conor.

“When we purchased the building, we asked our guests what was most important to them. They told us they wanted a place to shop on their own, with their own grocery carts, a cool space in the summer and warm place in the winter,” O’Conor said.

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Poverty Rates Soared in 2022 as Aid ended and Prices Rose
The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/12/business/economy/income-poverty-health-insurance.html#:~:text=A%20Sharp%20Rise%3A%20The%20poverty,twice%20those%20of%20other%20children.


Common Pantry set to open first location in 56 years, hope to continue feeding community
WGN

By: ,

CHICAGO — For the first time in their history, Common Pantry now have a place that’s completely their own 56 years after doors opened for business.

Most recently, Common Pantry had been operating out of the basement of Epiphany United Church of Christ which is located just a few blocks away in a 1,500 square foot space.

In 2021, with the help of state grants, the pantry purchased the north Lincoln building increasing their square footage to 3,500.

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Common Pantry opens first stand-alone location in its 56-year history of helping the hungry
Chicago Sun Times

By:  Kaitlin Washburn, Sept 13, 2023, 8:33pm CDT

The new location in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood comes at a time when the food pantry is serving record levels of people in need.

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Common Pantry Chicago opens new food bank facility in North Center
ABC 7

BY LEAH HOPE, Thursday, September 14, 2023 5:10PM

CHICAGO (WLS) — Common Pantry, which uses a market model to serve people struggling with food insecurity, opened a new facility in North Center Thursday.

“I’m so happy for them,” said Rosie Cruz, who uses Common Pantry to get food for her family. “The church was nice ad everything but this, this is like a lottery.”

The 56-year-old organization held a grand opening for their new facility on Lincoln Avenue. Executive Director Margaret O’Connor said they created the space with state grants, contributions from the community, and input from guests.

“They can walk in, there are stairs, they talked about having a light filled room there is lots of natural light,” she said.

What Common Pantry could not have anticipated was the skyrocketing need for their services.

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Common Pantry opens its first standalone location in 56-year history
NBC News Chicago

Common Pantry, Chicago’s oldest continuous food pantry, has opened its first standalone location in the organization’s 56-year history.

The new facility in the North Center neighborhood at 3908 N. Lincoln Ave. continues Common Pantry’s efforts to provide emergency food and social services to Chicago’s North Side.

“This celebration not only marks the milestone of opening this new building and our ability to provide more services more efficiently, but it is a celebration of the community that helped make this dream a reality,” said Margaret O’Conor, executive director of Common Pantry.

The grand opening of the pantry is Thursday, though Common Pantry has been assisting people in the new location since Aug. 2 after leaving the old location on Aug. 1.

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Common Pantry opens its doors to new facility in North Center
CBS News Chicago

The nonprofit food pantry purchased the building in 2021, with the help of $1.5 million in state grants. It originally got its start inside Epiphany United Church of Christ in 1988.SEPT 14, 2023

https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/video/common-pantry-opens-its-doors-to-new-facility-in-north-center/


Common Pantry celebrating grand opening at new North Center facility
CBS News Chicago

https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/common-pantry-north-center/


Nonprofit hosting block party celebration of new facility in North Center
CBS News Chicago

BY JERAMIE BIZZLE, AIDA MOGOS – A local food pantry that’s helped feed Chicagoans for decades is closer to opening its new space in North Center. Common Pantry began

construction at its new facility, located at 3908 N. Lincoln Ave, back in January.

The organization moved from a church basement to its own space with the help of $1.5 million in state grants. To celebrate, they’re hosting a block party this weekend.

The event will take place Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Martyrs’, located at 3855 N. Lincoln Ave.  It will feature live performances from Things That Fly, Divine Sound, and DJ Tanja Buhler.

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The end of a COVID benefit as March begins has food pantries bracing
Crain’s Chicago Business

By BRANDON DUPRÉ

With additional COVID-19 pandemic SNAP benefits set to expire tomorrow, Chicago food pantries are preparing for an increased demand that has the industry worried about how it will keep pace. “Come March, there’s going to be so much added strain and pressure on all these small food pantries across the city,” said Margaret O’Conor, executive director of Common Pantry, a North Center nonprofit that serves Chicago’s North Side. “How do you tell people that you don’t have the food? How do you turn people away?”

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Common Pantry: Healthy food & support for a strong community
WGN NEWS

By Amy Rutledge, Tonya Francisco

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North Side food pantry moving to new space to meet growing need
WGN NEWS


I Am Your Neighbor
Comcast Newsmakers

The pandemic has driven up rates of food insecurity. The vulnerable senior home delivery has doubled to over 100 deliveries monthly. Common Pantry is ensuring safety for staff and clients and raising funds through their new program I Am Your Neighbor.

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