The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s (GCFD) “Producemobile” is coming to Evanston, and will be offering free fresh fruits and vegetables on a first-come, first-served basis every second Tuesday of the month. Co-sponsored by Interfaith Action of Evanston (IAE) and the City of Evanston, the first produce delivery takes place 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Dec. 11 in the Robert Crown Center parking lot at 1701 Main St.
The GCFD launched the Producemobile program in 2001. These brightly colored, beverage-style trucks donate fresh fruits and vegetables directly to thousands of hungry people across the Chicago area on a weekly basis. Many of these individuals live in areas where produce is costly or difficult to obtain. The GCFD targeted Evanston as a high-need area, as nearly 14% of the City’s population is food-insecure, meaning they do not know where their next meal is coming from.
IAE, which operates weekly soup kitchens throughout the City and runs Evanston’s Hospitality Center for the Homeless, assisted in bringing the program to Evanston.
“We were really excited when the GCFD reached out to us about hosting the Producemobile,” said Susan Murphy, administrative director of IAE, who also runs the Hospitality Center. “It fits in perfectly with our mission to serve homeless and hungry people in Evanston. We’ve received tremendous support and partnership from the City of Evanston, and look forward to continuing with this program as long as there is need. It’s also a wonderful way for the people of Evanston to serve their community – so we hope we’ll see lots of our neighbors out volunteering to help serve.”
About 35 volunteers will be needed each month to unload, bag and distribute the produce at Robert Crown Center. Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up at www.interfaithactionofevanston.org.
The GCFD, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center that provides food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in the community. The GCFD distributes donated and purchased food through its network of 650 qualified agencies throughout Cook County.
Residents wishing more information on the monthly produce distribution at Robert Crown Center or other services targeting hungry and homeless people in Evanston may contact IAE at 847-475-1150. Information about the Producemobile program or other food service initiatives outside of Evanston is available by calling the GCFD at 773-247-FOOD or visiting www.chicagofoodbank.org.