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Food Pantry for Veterans, at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

Thank you everybody with your ongoing support with the Red Cross's Services to the Armed Forces program and your help at the new food pantry at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

We have a weekly need of 5 volunteers to support this food pantry that operates on the vision of Veterans helping Veterans. Many of the Veterans at this pantry are homeless or disabled. This is your opportunity to show kindness and express gratitude to the brave men and women who served and sacrificed for our country.

The Mission: To honor and support those who have served our country by improving Veteran's access to nutritionally adequate food and by providing a place for continued social contribution.

Vision: Our goal is to alleviate hunger within the Veteran community and create a Veteran volunteer force with civic pride and comradery.

You can meet us there at the VA medical center if you take public transportation, at 820 S. Damen Ave.  From the main entrance, follow the blue signs to get to the Ogden elevators, then go up to the second floor, and then follow the brown signs to the Damen Pavilion. We will meet and setup in the main corridor.   If you drive, you can use their paid garage and get free parking validation after the event via the Volunteer Services office on the 4th floor. Entrance to the parking garage is on Taylor street and Ogden Ave.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository will supply the food and volunteers get to unbox, sort, and arrange the food to tables.  We will then provide assistance to Veterans that wants help as personal shoppers. The food pantry opens at 11 AM to 1 PM. We will then help close down the pantry, recycle boxes, and pack any left over food onto a van to help another homeless shelter near byl.

This is a self select food pantry. The Veterans will have a choice to pick what food they want. Volunteers will help as personal shoppers, as many Veterans will have physical disabilities and your help will be much appreciated. This is also an opportunity to get to know them and share kind words with them. After all the Veterans have been served, we will help clean up and break down boxes for recycling. We should wrap up by 2:00 PM or maybe earlier.

If you are a Veteran or know of any Veteran that needs help with food supplement, please let them know of this new service at the Jesse Brown VA medical center.

The Jesse Brown Veterans Food Pantry, is a partnership between the Greater Chicago Food Depository, AmeriCorps, and the Jesse Brown VAMC. The pantry is one of the first programs of its kind offering Veterans a "Client Choice" model pantry. Client choice is a model of food distribution that enables Veterans to select their own food, much like a grocery store. Unlike most pantries, which provide clients with fixed boxes or bags of food with no ability to select the items included, client choice pantries allow clients the ability to choose from a wide variety of foods, better enabling clients to meet their personal dietary needs. Client choice also ensures a sense of dignity for clients and their families, higher satisfaction with the food they are able to choose, less waste, and greater opportunities for volunteers and clients to interact with the mission and vision of the organization in mind.

The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas: Disaster Relief, Supporting America’s Military Families, Health and Safety Training, Lifesaving Blood, and International Services. For more information, please visit

Red Cross HQ is near the CTA Blue line and other bus routes. Use this link for directions:


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello! I'm new to, so I apologize if this is a dumb question. Does being on the waitlist mean I cannot attend? Or can I still go? I'd really like to attend this event, as my friend just enlightened me to the issues our vets deal with on a daily basis.


    December 23, 2013

    • Wilson

      Hi Janye, Thanks for signing up on the waiting list and wanting to help the Vets. The main vision of the VA food pantry is to provide opportunities for Veterans to help other Veterans, while providing remaining free spots for non veterans to help as well. That is why the VA gives us only a limited number of volunteer spots to help at this event. If one of the confirmed RSVPs cancels on here, the next person on the waiting list will be automatically be promoted to the confirm list, based on the time that they signed up. But don't worry if you can't get a spot for this week, the VA operates their food pantry every Tuesday. There will be future opportunities for you if it fits your schedule. I hope you can sign up for a future date to join us.

      December 23, 2013

  • Laura J

    Hi how is parking around here? Sorry I'm
    not familiar with this exact location. Thank you!

    December 11, 2013

    • Wilson

      Hi Laura,

      December 11, 2013

    • Wilson

      You can park at the VA hospital's main parking garage and get free validation at the end of the project from Volunteer Services office on the 4th floor.

      December 11, 2013

  • Abbey

    As an ESL, will language be a problem to be a volunteer on this?

    December 5, 2013

    • Wilson

      Hi Abbey, ESL is not a problem at all. We welcome diversity in all our volunteers.

      December 5, 2013

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