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The mission of the GRWP is to provide a comprehensive response to hunger and to meet human needs in communities located on the south side of Chicago through a coordinated network providing food distribution, advocacy and volunteers.
Founded in 2001, the Greater Roseland West Pullman Food Network (GRWP) is a 501(c)3 membership organization boasting twelve local distribution partners fighting hunger on Chicago’s south side. We convene monthly Network meetings as an opportunity for planning and resource sharing with our local distribution partners. GRWP owns a truck and employs two drivers to facilitate deliveries from the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) to our partner pantries. Our local partners distributed over 1.8 million pounds of food in 2012, serving over 6,000 families (over 21,000 individuals) per month. This is up from serving just over 5,500 families per month in 2011 and 4,300 in 2010.
In addition to making deliveries to our distribution partners, the network truck also serves as a mobile pantry used to take food into communities with high food insecurity that lack emergency food service providers. We currently operate our Pantry on Wheels (POW) program in Altgeld Gardens. GRWP has partnered with service providers in Altgeld Gardens since POW’s inception in 2003. The 2012 Map the Meal Gap study reports that this is still an area of significant need with a 47.4% food insecurity rate in Chicago’s Riverdale community. Our current distribution partner in Altgeld Gardens is TCA Health, Inc., a federally qualified health center. On second Wednesdays, GRWP distributes groceries to approximately 150 families. In June 2011, GRWP was approached by GCFD to pilot an additional POW program in Dixmoor. The Map the Meal Gap study found Dixmoor to have the third highest rate of food insecurity among suburban communities in Cook County coming in at 38.7%. As a result, GRWP is piloting a program in partnership with the West Harvey Dixmoor School District 147, providing a monthly distribution for 100-120 families. The six month pilot was generously funded by a grant from Kraft Foods and ran from October 2011 through March 2012 and touched over 400 families in total.
As a result of our established track record, GRWP was one of the networks recognized by GCFD to be granted the opportunity to work with a consultant to develop a strategic plan. Once this guiding document was created, the network received two additional grants covering the two year period, the first funding a part-time Goodman Local Hunger Fellow to staff the network and advance the strategic plan, the second an additional grant for operating expenses. In July, 2010, GRWP welcomed its Hunger Fellow on staff. In 2011, The network celebrated its 10th anniversary of service to the community and continuing to advance our efforts in the fight against hunger. In 2012, additional support from GCFD as well as the Chicago Community Trust allowed for the part time Hunger Fellow position to grow into a full time Director position, as well as the addition of a part time Project and Administrative Coordinator.
In 2014, as we look to the future of the GRWP Network, we are committed to working and serving more diligently in taking the network to the next level of fighting hunger, sharing hope and resources, and meeting the needs of our partners and community, including expanding access to fresh foods through environmentally sustainable means. We are a community connected, fighting hunger.
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