Next Meetup

Food Pantry for Veterans, at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
Come join the American Red Cross as we help distribute food to Veterans at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center food pantry. The VA food pantry 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. We will meet at The Jesse Brown VA medical center at 8 AM to setup tables and food. This pantry runs on a very tight schedule. All volunteers must report in by 8:15 A.M. to receive your assignment or else you may not be able to participate. Please allow yourself an extra 15 minutes to park and walk to the pantry area of the big building complex. If you take public transportation, the Damen bus stops right in front of the building 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. Entrances to the parking garage is on Taylor street and Ogden Ave. No open toe shoes allowed for safety reasons. Wear non slip bottom shoes like sneakers please. Volunteers will be given gloves to use when handling non packaged food. 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. After the event, we will then help close down the pantry, break down and recycle boxes, and pack any left over food onto a van to help another homeless shelter near by. 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 1:00 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 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 http://www.redcross.org Transportation and Car pooling: We encourage our volunteers to be green whenever possible or practical. Public transportation (bus, train, bike, walking) are easy at many locations, but other sites are remote or end late at night and can use some car pool planning. If you do not drive and need a ride, post below and ask about car pool possibilities. State what town and intersection you can be picked up. If you do drive, please consider helping a fellow volunteer that lives near you or along your way. Post where you are coming from and offer to pick up a fellow volunteer along your route. You will make some new cool friends even before you get to the volunteer event. Honor your RSVP commitment: Keep your RSVP status up to date. Event organizers depend on an accurate volunteer count to plan their assignments correctly. If you RSVP Yes to help an event, please honor your commitment and attend the event to help. Arriving on time and staying for the full duration of the volunteer shift is expected, unless stated by organizer that shift time is flexible, and you emailed ahead to both agree on a different time. Most events have limited volunteer spots; don't waste one by being a no-show. All event hosts are grateful for volunteers' help and will try to accommodate your schedule if you are sincere in helping. You have the option to change your RSVP to "No" if you no longer can attend. We understand volunteers also have jobs, school, and family, and unexpected things happen. Please cancel with at least 48 hours notice before the event time so other volunteers on the waiting list can have enough time to adjust their own schedule to participate. Don't wait until the last day to cancel on an event, unless it is serious emergency. If you are sick with a cold of flu, then of course stay home to rest and recover. Taking care of your health is important. Going to an event when you are sick will only spread your germs and get more people sick. Most of the people we serve are vulnerable populations with a weaken immune system (seniors, children, homeless). We must be mindful to keep them safe and healthy.

Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

820 South Damen Avenue · Chicago, IL

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