Questions or comments? Please feel free to email the volunteer department at
To all of our volunteers, thank you for making 2022 a successful year for Nourishing Hope. With your help we have been able to serve 129,467 households from January 1, 2022 to December 15, 2022.

Thank you for your commitment to our mission, our collective impact, and our care for our neighbors. We appreciate you!
Beginning in 2023, the Headquarters Packing Crew and Online Market Packing Crew will join forces to create our most powerful shift yet: Headquarters Mega Crew. The shift will take place Monday-Friday, 9:30am-12:30pm and 1pm-4pm and will consist of helping with both programs and other miscellaneous projects around the warehouse. If you prefer one shift over the other, don't worry, you can still help with that shift!

Additionally, our Online Market Packing on Wednesday evenings and all Online Market Distribution shifts will remain the same. We will not remove or change these shifts. Here’s to the new year and to the Headquarters Mega Crew!
In case you missed it, effective Jan. 1, volunteers will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

It’s not realistic for Nourishing Hope to track and require vaccines and multiple boosters for the 5,000 volunteers a year who support our mission. Since we set the requirement last year, we haven’t tracked booster shots, limiting the efficacy of the requirement as time goes on. 

To be clear, we strongly encourage all volunteers to stay up to date with their vaccination against COVID-19.
Masking is still required on all volunteer shifts. If you forget, we do have masks available, but please try to do your part in keeping our community safe from COVID-19 through the winter months.
If you are a young professional and looking to get more involved in your community, consider joining our Young Leaders Board! The Nourishing Hope Young Leaders Board (YLB) is a group of enthusiastic and talented young professionals who are committed to giving back to their community and helping people in need. To learn more about the YLB or to become a member, please email
Do you have extra unopened shampoo, conditioner, or soap at home? Nourishing Hope is currently seeking hygiene item donations! Please bring all hygiene donations to The Hub (5151 N Ravenswood): M-F 9:00am-3:00pm, Sat 11:00am-2:00pm. Please enter through the back door. The door will be open during the above hours and any staff or volunteer inside can assist you with unloading your donation and get you a donation receipt.
If you currently have a recurring schedule in place that you have not yet renewed, now is the time! Don’t have a recurring schedule but interested in guaranteeing a spot on your favorite shift each week? Email to set up a recurring schedule for the new year!

Many thanks to all volunteers who donated or helped facilitate our annual toy drive! With your help, we were able to serve 228 households and 624 children.

Jennie Hull, Chief Program Officer, looks forward to making handmade tortellini soup with her partner Aaron’s Italian and Romanian family each Christmas. The family gathers on the first Sunday in December to prepare the tortellini. The meat is sourced from a special Romanian butcher, and half the family prepares the meat filling, while the other half makes the dough, cuts it, and then individually hand rolls the tortellini. The recipe has been unchanged and although the larger extended family may not all be in the same place to eat the soup, they all eat their share on Christmas day!
Alyssa Lavroff

Hub-based volunteer engagement coordinator, Alyssa, has spent the better part of 20 years performing in various productions of The Nutcracker. Alyssa trained at New Jersey Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Miami City Ballet School, and Indiana’s University Jacobs School of Music, providing her the opportunity to perform a variety of roles, including the waltz of the flowers (below, left) and Frau Stahlbaum (below, right). Now a retired ballet dancer, Alyssa still enjoys The Nutcracker as an audience member.

Hanukkah is also a special time for Alyssa and her family. Read our latest blog on her family legacy of food and community activism.
Rockstar Headquarters volunteer Cheryl C. is our volunteer spotlight this month! Cheryl began volunteering in November 2021 at the recommendation of her friend Ray and has since clocked over 500 hours volunteering at Nourishing Hope!

Cheryl’s retirement was the catalyst for her illustrious volunteer career; however, it took retiring for the second time to bring Cheryl through Nourishing Hope’s doors. A modern-day renaissance woman, Cheryl’s professional career consisted of supervising operators in the control room of a nuclear reactor, followed by 30 years at JP Morgan. Cheryl tried her hand at retirement after her time at JP Morgan, but quickly found her way back to school and earned a degree in elementary education from DePaul, landing her work as a 2nd-grade teacher in the Chicago Public School system.

Now officially retired, Cheryl can be found on headquarters heavy lifting shifts several days a week. Cheryl loves operating the pallet jack and has the muscles to show for it!

When asked about her experience volunteering at Nourishing Hope, Cheryl said, “I’d be causing trouble on the streets if it weren’t for my friends at Nourishing Hope. Thank you for being a great bunch of people!”

Thank YOU, Cheryl. We are so glad to have you on our team!
We are sad to share the news of the passing of Thomas E, a wonderful volunteer and supporter of the pantry. He volunteered 928 hours and was regularly volunteering at Nourishing Hope since 2014. Read more about Thomas and his life story. We will remember him fondly and will forever be grateful for his work.
Wishing the happiest of December birthdays to our volunteers!
Caitlin A.
Avery B.
Tim C.
Christina C.
Susan E.
Noelle F.
Shelley F.
Jared G.
Erin H
Kym H.
Daniel I.
Matthew J.
Windy K.
Beth L.
Bilal M.
Debra M.
Lori M.
Dominika O.
Nate P.
Margaret R.
Cyndi R.
Randi R.
Dhruv S.
Joseph T.
John T.
Samuel W.
Jim W.