Chiaravalle Montessori School, a co-educational, independent, Montessori school for children ages 6 months-14 years, is hosting their annual Food Drive from November 14th-18th to benefit Hilda’s Place and Connections for the Homeless. With community being an important part of the Montessori mission at Chiaravalle, this is the 2nd year the school will be sponsoring a local collection of non-perishable food items for Hilda’s Place and Connections for the Homeless. These two vital Evanston agencies provide year-long shelter, food, and clothing for homeless adults and near-homeless families, while guiding them towards self-sufficiency.

“The statistics are startling, according to the USDA, in the U.S. alone, over 50 million Americans don’t have dependable access to enough food and the numbers are increasing.” Said professional chef, Ellen King, parent and Community Outreach Coordinator for Chiaravalle, who has also brought her culinary skills to the shelter when she has served as a volunteer cook. “Helping those in need on a local level is an excellent way to strengthen our community and teach our children about charity and can instill a sense of responsibility and compassion.”

“The Chiaravalle community has really learned to listen and understand how they can respond to our needs.” Said Lisa Todd, Community Relations Manager for Hilda’s Place and Connections for the Homeless. “The only way we can provide services to our clients is through community support. In kind donations of food, meal preparation and clothing donations allows us to continue to support a growing community in need. Our budget has been cut to the bones. Donations allow us to maintain vital resources for our clients that we might otherwise have to eliminate.”

How to help: Donations can be dropped off at the school, located at 425 Dempster Street in Evanston, during regular school. Or can be brought directly to Hilda’s Place located at 1458 Chicago Avenue, in Evanston.