To support residents facing economic hardship and food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Evanston has partnered with Northwestern University’s Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations to establish an emergency food pantry.

The pantry, located at James Park, will offer Evanston residents free, prepackaged boxes of food, including non-perishable items, produce and protein. Boxes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis every Wednesday, beginning April 15 through the end of May, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or while supplies last. Boxes will not be distributed before 11 a.m.  

“COVID-19 has not only challenged our healthcare system, it has impacted many residents’ ability to put food on the table,” said Mayor Steve Hagerty. “I am deeply grateful to Northwestern, Valli Produce, Alderman Cicely Fleming, our Health & Human Services and Administrative Services Department staff, volunteers, and all those stepping up to meet our residents’ needs during this pandemic.”

To facilitate social distancing and ensure the safety of staff and patrons, pick-ups should occur in a vehicle. Participants arriving on foot will be directed to an area where they can pick up a food box. Drivers are asked to enter the site by driving southbound on Dodge Avenue and turning right onto Mulford Street. There is a limit of one box per household. All participants must show a valid ID with their current Evanston address to qualify. 

Although the emergency pantry is scheduled to operate through May, the City will assess ongoing needs weekly and adjust operations as necessary.

Community members can support the Food Pantry by making a financial contribution at

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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