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Groceries, Food, & Nutrition

Purple Pantry (Northwestern Students)

Purple Pantry (Northwestern Students)

NU's on-campus food pantry. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, The Purple Pantry currently operates by appointment only. Students should email Teresa Corcoran directly for more information.

Northwestern University Dining Services (Evanston and Chicago)

Northwestern University Dining Services (Evanston and Chicago) Website

For the latest in NU dining services, visit the dining service website.

SNAP/Food Stamps (Illinois)

Illinois Department of Human Services - USDA is allowing states to conduct telephone interviews instead of face-to face-interviews for SNAP in March, April and May 2020.

City of Evanston Food Accessibility and Assistance (Evanston)

City of Evanston Food Accessibility and Assistance (Evanston) Website

The City of Evanston's website provides listings of local food pantries and soup kitchens as well as listings of location that accept SNAP/EBT as well as other helpful resources.

Free Meals for Youth (Evanston and Skokie)

The city of Evanston, Evanston/ Skokie School District 65 and ETHS District 202 are providing free, cold breakfasts and lunches to youth ages 1-18 years old at locations throughout the city. There are no residency or income-based restrictions to participate in the program. Meals will be grab-and-go; no meals will be eaten on site. Youth may pick up five days of meals at one time. Pickups are MONDAYS only from 1pm-4pm at the following locations:

  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.
  • Robert Crown Community Center, 1801 Main St.
  • Kamen Park David Wood Fieldhouse, 1111 South Blvd.
  • Mason Park, Church Street and Florence Avenue

Chicago Public Schools (Chicago)

CPS locations are Food Distribution Centers from 9am to 1pm. Families can pick up 3 days worth of food for each child at any given time. Parents in need of delivery should call 773-553-KIDS (5437) or email

Grocery Stores (Evanston and Chicago)

Several retailers have created dedicated shopping hours for older adults and those in high-risk groups to shop without crowds of other people. As schedules change, individuals should call their local stores to confirm.

  • Jewel-Osco: seniors given priority on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7am-9am
  • Whole Foods: customers 60+ can shop daily an hour before the store opens to the public
  • Target: the first hour of shopping each Wednesday is reserved for elderly and other vulnerable populations
  • Marianos: store access from 6am-8am daily for seniors and those with underlying health conditions
  • Walmart: customers 60+ can shop every Tuesday an hour before stores open
  • Tony’s Fresh Market: senior priority shopping is from 7am-9am on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Walgreens: seniors only on Tuesdays from 8am-9am
  • Trader Joe’s: the first hour of operation every day is reserved for customers 60+ and disabled individuals
  • Costco: 8am-9am on Tuesdays and Thursdays is reserved for members age 60+
  • Meijer: Mondays and Wednesdays 7am-8am reserved for essential service workers; Tuesdays and Thursdays 7am-8am is reserved for seniors and those with chronic health conditions
  • Fresh Thyme Farmers Market: 6am-8am Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays is reserved for customers 60+ and those with underlying health conditions; 6am-8am Tuesdays and Thursdays is reserved for essential healthcare workers and first responders
  • Aldi: 8:30am-9:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays is reserved for senior citizens, expectant mothers, and those with underlying health conditions
  • Dollar General: the first hour of operation is set aside daily for seniors
  • Valli Produce: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6am-8am reserved for seniors and vulnerable populations

For a complete list, visit the Illinois Retail Merchant’s Association.

Gather Chicago Food Depository (Chicago and Surrounding Area)

Greater Chicago Food Depository Website

Greater Chicago Food Depository's website allows individuals to search for nearby food pantries, soup kitchens, or mobile food distribution programs. Most food pantries remain open because food assistance qualifies as an essential service, however they recommend calling before you go to confirm program hours and requirements. Their benefits outreach team can help individuals apply for SNAP, Medicaid or other benefits.

  • Hotline: 773-843-5416
  • Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 5pm

IL Hunger Helpline (Illinois)

Helpline where individuals can call to obtain referrals for local organization that provide free food and assistance resources.

  • Phone: 1-800-359-2163