Ihavea Name Award Mirabile Dictu Best Documentary

I Have a Name”

A new documentary film by Chicago filmmaker Lucia Mauro explores CHI’s programs supporting Chicagoans experiencing homelessness and hunger. Watch the trailer. You can help raise funds for CHI by hosting a virtual watch party! Email dfraser@chicagohelpinitiative.org to learn more.

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Amazon Smile

A portion of your Amazon purchases can help support CHI! Select Chicago Help Initiative and go to AMAZON SMILE every time you shop https://smile.amazon.com

Changes to Bagged Meal Program

The Chicago Help Initiative provides nutritious meals and support to people experiencing hunger and homelessness in Chicago.

Covid-19 Resources

Do You Need:

Legal help with housing? Click Here

Help locating food? Click Here

Finding a job? Click Here

Help with bankruptcy: https://upsolve.org/

Help applying for food stamps? www.Mrelief.com

Making and delivering bag meals with The Chicago Help Initiative

We all can help each other by working together to fill needs during this pandemic. CHI coordinates volunteers delivering thousands of bagged meals each week to sites in different parts of the city.

If you’re interested in volunteering during the Covid-19 pandemic, please send us an email at info@chicagohelpinitiative.org about your interests and we’ll follow up with you.

What’s in a bag meal?

The basics are a sandwich, drink (water or juice), snack (chips, granola bar, etc.) and a piece of fruit (clementines, banana, etc). However, don’t be afraid to do more or get fancy!


Where and when to deliver? (see maps above)

Saturdays: 721 N LaSalle, 9:30 to 10:30 AM

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: First St. Paul’s Lutheran, 1301 N. LaSalle, 9:30 to 10:30 AM

What if we can’t deliver those times?

No problem – let us know where you are and we can find either a volunteer to pick up from you, or a nearby location to drop at a better time.

What if I know a site that is struggling and could use donations? Can we help them?

Yes! We can help organize you and folks around you to help directly.

If I can’t do bag meals, can I contribute financially?

Of course. You can donate using this page.

Who do I contact to get started?

First, email us at kblatt@chicagohelpinitiative.org. Let us know you’re getting involved, and what days work for you.

We’ll need your email to keep you informed.

If you are a driver, picking up from others or delivering direct, we’ll also need your phone number.

If you want to team up with folks around you we’ll need to know your neighborhood or suburb!

If there is ever an issue (the site is closed, flat tire, etc.), call us at 312-914-2138 and leave a detailed message. We’ll get back to you promptly.

Featured Program

Our Meals

Every Wednesday, we provide a free, nutritious, full-course meal, prepared by local restaurants, to our 130 guests in the dining room at Catholic Charities, at 721 N. Lasalle St. in Chicago. We also provide an additional 70 take-away meals to people who are unable to join us in the dining room.

Learn More

Thank you to our partners and sponsors!

Café Baci
Benny's Chop House
Eli's Cheesecake
Gene & Georgetti
Greek Kitchen
Hyatt Centric
Northwestern Medicine
Site Chicago
Texas de Brazil

Marc Schulman, President of Eli's Cheesecake and longtime restaurant partner and sponsor of The Chicago Help Initiative speaks about the positive impact CHI makes in people's lives.

From Our Blog

Screen Shot 2020 12 07 At 4 13 44 Pm


Special Screening of the Award-Winning Documentary “I HAVE A NAME” by Lucia Mauro

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS for the online screening of the award-winning documentary "I HAVE A NAME" by Lucia Mauro. The film...
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Changes to Our Meal Service and Programs Due to Coronavirus

MARCH 12, 2020 -- Due to concerns about the coronavirus, Catholic Charities is immediately suspending sit-down meals in their dining...
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Holiday Giving Goes a Long Way for Our Guests

This is an amazing time of year, when we at CHI start receiving donations like socks and hats and even...
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Did you know?


of the people we serve are military service veterans.

Nobody should go hungry. With the Chicago Help Initiative, you don’t have to.”