Food and Clothing
Clients can come to Care for Real once a month for staple food items…rice, beans, peanut butter, etc. Plus, they can come up to four times a week for the fresh produce and bread that is so generously donated by neighborhood groceries and bakeries. Yet the average CFR client “shops” for staples at the pantry just seven times a year. CFR is their safety net during especially hard times.
On average, CFR distributes almost 60,000 pounds of food each month. We purchase most of our staple foods from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Local retailers, including Costco, 7-11, Aldi’s, Swedish Bakery, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, True Nature Foods and Panera Cares, regularly donate produce and bakery goods. And the community supports Care for Real with individual donations and food drives sponsored by houses of worship, schools, businesses, block clubs and residential buildings.
Purchased food is selected for variety, nutrition and with respect for religious beliefs and ethnic preferences. For the homeless, CFR distributes specially packaged foods that do not require refrigerated storage, can openers or cooking. In addition, Care for Real provides special food baskets for Thanksgiving, Eid al-Fitr and Christmas to make those holidays brighter for our neighbors.
We also provide children’s diapers and cleaning and personal-hygiene products as well as home health care items (canes, adult incontinence items, skin care, etc.) when they are available
Care for Real Clothes Closet
Care for Real runs a clothes closet that distributes “gently used” donated clothing free of charge to clients. A special effort is made to have warm coats, hats, scarves and gloves available for needy neighborhood school children. Last year, approximately 300 children received the clothes they needed to make it through the winter. These children also received backpacks and school supplies at the start of the academic year.
Donations are accepted at the rear of our building from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm weekdays and 9:00 am to 12:30 pm Saturdays. Enter the driveway immediately north of 5341 N. Sheridan and proceed to the rear of the building. Our unloading area is located at the northernmost set of grey double doors. Ring the doorbell for assistance in unloading and to obtain a receipt. Please do not leave donations outside the door when the office is closed.