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CARS of America in Evanston becomes food collection site for Hillside Food Pantry

“15 percent of Americans struggle to put food on the table. They are part of our community.”

CARS of America in Evanston has become a food collection site for the Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston.

Food Donation List

Read on to learn how more than 2,000 families a month can benefit from your donations.

Hunger does not discriminate: Hillside serves young, old, married, widowed, under-employed, homeless

There’s a widow working paycheck-to-paycheck to support her 13-year-old daughter.

There’s a man who had a good job – until he got sick.

One patron, Beth is in her mid-50’s and was working. Unfortunately, like too many other people, she didn’t make enough. She was only eating one meal a day and saving a portion of that for breakfast the next morning.

Another patron, Tom, is a widower in his 70’s who lives alone. He survives on social security and some part-time work. Quite often he has no food because he needs to pay for his medication.

“This is often the case. Too many people have limited income and after paying rent and utilities, gas for the car so they can get to work or carfare, they have to choose between medication or food,” says Faith E. Albano, coordinator of Hillside Food Pantry Donations/Food Rescue/Distribution. “Unfortunately, this is the case with most of the people who come. There is more month than money, and food is incredibly expensive.”

Serving 6,000+ individuals every month

Hillside Food Pantry serves 1,900 to 2,100 families every month, which translates to 6,000 to 7,000 individuals.

Because of the overwhelming need, CARS of America in Evanston has become an official food collection site for Hillside Food Pantry. (In our Glenview location, we are an official food collection site for the Northfield Food Pantry.)

As a matter of principal, we believe charity begins at home. CARS of America has always supported local charities, such as Habitat for Humanity and shelters for local victims of domestic violence. After becoming involved in local food pantry efforts with Northfield Township in our Glenview location, we realized the extent of the need that exists, even on the affluent NorthShore. And now we want to do more in both Evanston and Glenview to help those who struggle to put food on the table.

We encourage you to drop off food donations from 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, and we will arrange to have the food delivered to the pantry.

How Hillside’s food program works

Here are details of the Hillside Food Pantry program:

  • Anyone who needs food can go to Hillside. There are no restrictions based on where you live. Some patrons take a train to a bus and then walk 3 blocks to pick up one bag of fresh food. The food pantry has 77 zip codes in its database of recipients.
  • They strive to give the family a well balanced meal in the bag they receive, which means they get protein (beef, chicken, turkey or pork), fresh vegetables (zucchini, cabbage, carrots, beans, etc.), other produce (lettuce, tomatoes, etc.), deli items when available (lunch meat, bacon, breakfast sausage, etc.), dairy items (yogurt, cheese, sour cream, hummus, etc.), fresh fruit (apples, oranges, etc.), potatoes/onions, and bread. If the pantry has dessert or milk/juice items, the families get that as well. In addition, they regularly include some canned staples in the bag (corn, beans, chili, etc.), cereal, rice, mac & cheese, or pasta.
  • Hillside is open twice a week and patrons may choose which day they want to come, either Wednesday or Saturday.
  • They work with the Evanston Farmer’s Market from May through early November, so on Saturdays Hillside receives fresh produce from the market.
  • They estimate that their bag of food saves families $50 a week, “which goes a long way when you have rent or a mortgage to pay, need gas for your car, etc.,” Faith says.

Need more info?

If you have any questions for CARS, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For more information about Hillside, visit the Hillside Food Pantry website.