Donate

Your contribution helps us pay for the nutritious food, drinks and supplies at the hospitality center, warming centers, and soup kitchens. Additional support goes toward events that promote interfaith dialogue…

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Services

We express our shared values through direct services, including soup kitchens, warming centers, an emergency overnight shelter, a hospitality center, free fresh produce distribution in partnership with The Great Chicago Food Depository’s Producemobile.

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Advocacy

The Education & Advocacy Committee monitors local and national initiatives impacting hunger and homelessness, and recommends political actions for contacting legislators and policymakers. Public Gatherings provide a venue for volunteers, supporters and others who care about ending hunger and homelessness.

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Dialogue

By creating safe spaces for peaceful non-confrontational dialogue, Interfaith Action of Evanston brings people together to build relationships and understanding across faith boundaries. We continue to learn from each other by exploring the varied traditions and beliefs that make up the diverse community in which we live and serve.

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Producemobile Celebrates Two Years in Evanston

The Evanston Producemobile recently celebrated its second anniversary of serving fresh produce and vegetables to Evanston’s most at-risk populations. Dec. 9 marked the 25th individual disbursement, which takes place on the second Tuesday each month. The project is coordinated by  Action of Evanston, in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the City of Evanston.

Inclement Weather Solution
“Probably the most exciting day was a gear ago December” according to Producemobile Coordinator and Interfaith Action Board Member Paul Traynor. “Up until that point, we’d been serving outside — rain or shine — but when I woke up that morning at 6 a.m. to a wind-chill factor of 25-below and about a foot of snow, I panicked. I thought we’d have to cancel. There was no way we could subject our guests or our volunteers to such brutal conditions. But per usual, the staff at Robert Crown went of of their way to offer a solution, and our amazing volunteers came out and made it happen, running hundreds of boxes of food on handcarts down the ramp and in the building.”

“It’s been enlightening.” said Robert Lloyd, manger of the center. It’s given the Robert Crown Center and the city a chance to meet and get to know a part of the community that we don’t interact with as much. It gave us a chance to talk to them, and find our their needs pertaining to recreational and community services.”

Strong Volunteer Response
The community’s response has been overwhelming. The Producemobile serves an average of 270 family units each moth, representing well over 1,000 people who are able to receive a week’s worth of fresh produce due to the initiative. About 35 volunteers turn up to arrange and serve the produce — many of them “regulars,” who return month after month to help out.

“I volunteer because I am a nurse, and having nutritious food to eat is important to people being well, ” said regular volunteer Andrea Nowack. “I also enjoy the company of the other volunteers. It’s fun!”

To date, the Evanston Producemobile has served more than a quarter of a million pounds of food to over 25,000 hungry individuals. Any leftover food each month is picked up and distributed by Evanston ‘s Hillside pantry twice a week.

Click here to volunteer for the next Producemobile Distribution.

Volunteer Spotlight: Dynamic Breakfast Duo

S.Myslinski-M.KinneyFriday mornings start at 4 a.m. for Skip Myslenski and Mary Kinney, who prep and serve breakfast for around 50 of our homeless neighbors each week.

“How long is this going to take?” Skip Myslenski asked, lowering himself cross-legged to the floor in the lobby of the Hospitality Center Entrance at St Mark’s. He and partner Mary Kinney, were between grocery runs to stock the Center’s pantry for the coming week, a job they undertake every Friday morning. Mind you, this is after cooking a hot full-course breakfast for clients at Hilda’s Place at Lake Street Church then serving up the same menu for 30-40 grateful, hungry guests over at the Hospitality Center.

Skip, whom Wildcats fans will know from his nusports.com blog, “The Skip Report,” began catering this weekly feast in the early ‘90s. Mary, a south-side Chicago native, joined him three years ago. To be clear, “feast” is not hyperbole. How else do you describe a morning meal of bacon, turkey bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes (plain and blueberry), cheesy potatoes made from scratch, plus individually wrapped breakfast sandwiches for late arrivals? Except for the eggs, the couple donates every bite. Why do they do it? “I consider myself pretty lucky,” said Skip, who has also written for Sports Illustrated, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Chicago Tribune. “So why not?” Pausing thoughtfully, he added, “I’m not sure who said it, but I’ve read, ‘The greatest of distinctions is service to others,’” he surmised.

Mary is less philosophical. For her, the greatest rewards are smiling faces — especially when clients recognize and greet them on the street or in the park. “It’s simple, really,” she explained. “When you see that connection, it’s very meaningful to me.” .