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Event Recap – The Music Box Foundation – Easter Dinner

Note:  On Easter Sunday, Food For Friends supported The Music Box Foundation as they threw a community dinner on behalf of their Foundation.  The following article was sent in via email by Jennifer North.  The Food For Friends Board would like to thank Jennifer for sending in photos and a recap of this serving event. To see all the photos, go to our Facebook album for this event.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018 from 12 noon to 6pm, the Music Box Foundation served over 200 free meals.

On Easter Sunday Food For Friends partnered with the Music Box Foundation to serve over 200 free meals. For more photos, go to our Facebook album for this event.

The community Easter dinner was a success.  Over 200 people attended including eniors, veterans, homeless citizens, young families and friends in the South Shore Community. They were served a fantastic Easter dinner while music played in the background, creating a fun community atmosphere.

The Foundation would like to mention some thank yous.  First, a special thanks to the the members from the Chicago Fire Department and Police Department who came out to be a part of fellowshipping with the community.  We appreciate all they do for our community.  Second, a thank you to thank you to our volunteers for helping make this event possible for the Southshore community.  And finally….thanks to the Food For Friends organization for your donation and support.


Jennifer North
The Music Box Foundation Volunteer
Food for Friends Volunteer

About The Music Box Foundation:  The Music Box Foundation is a nonprofit organization that believes all children, no matter where they live, where they go to school, or what special needs they may have, deserve to have a music education.  The Music Box Foundation believes that music has the power to unify and strengthen our communities and provide inspiration and purpose to our youth. The Music Box Foundation believes that music can ignite a passion for learning, keep children off the streets, and provide an exciting and lucrative career path. The Music Box Foundation hopes to empower all students and their communities with the tools and resources to explore, understand, use, and create music.

Thankgiving Event Recap: KPMG Employees pack & distributes 50 Turkeys & Blue Bags… and then serve dinner on top of that!

Note:  Here is a article write up from an email a goup of KPMG employees in Chicago sent to Dan Herzog, President of Food For Friends.   The KPMG employees found us online after a search to serve needy families.  We were happy to partner with them and the Cornerstone Community Outreach Shelter! Note: Photos of this event are available on our Facebook page at 2017-Nov – KPMG Blue Bag Event & Thanksgiving Dinner
In November 2017 a group of KPMG Chicago employees volunteereed their time to pack Food For Friends Blue Bags and serve a Thanksgiving meal at the Cornerstone Community OutReach Shelter.


Hi Dan,

We want to start off by saying thank you so much for all of the assistance you provided us in order to put on a successful Thanksgiving Blue Bag Event at KPMG.

With your help, KPMG was able to work with The Cornerstone Community Outreach Shelter to provide 50 families with a a turkey and a Blue Bag stuffed with all the sides that make up a full Thanksgiving meal.   In addition, we helped serve a Thanksgiving meal at the shelter on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

We also we rallied our fellow office employees at KPMG and were able to collectively raise $700 as a donation to Cornerstone Community Outreach to continue their hard work of feeding those in need in Chicago.

In terms of participation, there were over 80 participants that lent a helping hand by either packing food, providing non-perishable food items, or donating a monetary gift.

Attached are some photos of the packing event as well as the dinner at The Cornerstone Community Outreach Shelter

Thank you again for all of your help!


Patrick Henry, Cody James, Grant Johnson, Katherine Solberg, and Paige Powel
KPMG LLP – Management Consulting
200 East Randolph St. | Chicago, IL 60601

West Cook YMCA Event Recap: Community Gives Thanks Together

The West Cook YMCA and Food For Friends partnered up for another successful Thanksgiving meal.
Note:  Thanks to Paige Clincy, Residence Case Manager, West Cook YMCA, for sending in the following article and pictures

The traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the West Cook YMCA was held, as always, on Thanksgiving day.   Each year, volunteer and staff work to provide a place for the community to gather and give thanks.  This year the tradition continued with a successful Thanksgiving dinner serving event.

The event is held right on one of the gymnasium floors, underneath the basketball hoops. Here over 60 community members and guests gathered to enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal that included greens, vegetables, mashed potatoes, yams, macaroni and cheese, turkey with stuffing and gravy, and rolls plus an array of desserts.

20 volunteers and staff from Food for Friends and West Cook YMCA did more than serve the meal, they provided a warm and welcoming place for those that had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving.   The volunteers love this serving event and tell us they find it extremely rewarding as a way to give back to the community.  In fact a number of our volunteers have made this event a part of their Thanksgiving tradition, serving with their family members.

Many of the community members stayed longer than their meal time enjoying the companionship and conversation around the tables.   A few community members even took advantage of the walking track above the gymnasium to walk a few calories off after the meal!

Check out more pictures from this event at the photo album on our Facebook page.

Blue Bag Event: Chicago Englewood District

The Chicago Police Department, Believe in Thine Ministries and Food For Friends jointly hosted a Blue Bag event on November 22, 2017.   This was the first time for this event in the Englewood community.  We provided 50 turkeys, Blue Bags, and T-shirts for the event.

Chicago Police Officers from the Englewood District pose for a picture with volunteers during the Food For Friends Blue Bag giveaway event.

Felleesa Square helped organize this event and we thank her so much.  Fellessa is a community service officer (Englewood District) for the Chicago Police Department. She gathered her fellow officers and the rallied volunteers from Believe in Thine Ministries to fill the Blue Bags with food and Thanksgiving trimmings for a complete meal.   The volunteers then handed the Food For Friends Blue Bags to families in need at the Englewood district Police Department location.

More pictures on our Facebook page at the 2017 Nov CPD Englewood photo album

The following is an email we received from Felleesa shortly before Thanksgiving


As Thanksgiving approaches, 007th District Chicago Police Department along with Food For Friends, and Believe in Thine Ministries organized “Let’s Give Thanks” event to help spread some holiday cheer to the families in Chicago Englewood Area. Food for Friends provided us with turkeys, blue bags, and t-shirts for our volunteers and Pastor Kevin Brown provided everything else to go into the baskets. Each household was provided a turkey with all the trimming to feed a family of four.

We held “Let’s Give Thanks” event to provide a little helping hand to those in need this holiday season, because Thanksgiving is supposed to be a happy time to be with your family and cook a traditional meal for the people you love.

On November 22, 2017 at 6000 South Ashland Avenue Chicago, IL 60636, we were able to assist over 110 families in the turkey giveaway, and it was our honor to serve a full Thanksgiving meal to the great citizens in Chicago Englewood Area.

Faleesa Square
Community Organizer
Chicago Police Department

100 Volunteers Serve 700 Meals at Pacific Garden Mission

On Wednesday, November 22, 2017 one hundred Food For Friends volunteers carved out a portion of their day to serve a warm, delicious fully trimmed Thanksgiving Dinner to well over 700 of our “Friends” at the Pacific Garden Mission at 1458 S. Canal Street, Chicago, IL.

Our “Friends” at Pacific Garden Mission represent homeless and under-resourced men, women and children who came to the annual dinner hungry and in need of a meal.  These are people who are in search of a change in their life and many of them experience that change through the wonder of the Pacific Garden Mission.

As they entered the dining hall, various Food For Friends volunteers greeted them with wishes of Happy Thanksgiving.  They smiled back and wished us all a Happy Thanksgiving as well.

As they sat down, the Food For Friends volunteers kicked it up into a high gear of serving activities.   We provided a hot Thanksgiving meal of Turkey, dressing, stuffing, gravy, mixed veggies, sweet potatoes prepared with love from Dan Veles from Lee and Eddy’s Catering.   Hard working crews of volunteers served the guests hot coffee, cold kool-aid and water.  Another crew of volunteers cut up and served over 120 pies donated by Bakers Square including apple, blueberry, peach, cherry and of course pumpkin.  Ice Cream was donated and served by Culvers restaurants out of Franklin Park.   We owe so many thanks to our partners for these donations of food and services.

The guests were all very thankful!    Throughout the serving event there were spontaneous laughter and clapping from the guests as they enjoyed their meals.  As they left, there were more smiles and “Happy Thanksgivings” by all.   Many of them could be heard commenting on how great the food and volunteers were.

We were very honored to continue the Food For Friends tradition of 23 years serving Thanksgiving Eve meal in Chicago to this group at the Pacific Garden Mission.  This was our annual opportunity to ‘Pay it Forward’ and help those in need on the near south side of Chicago.   We did our part to CHANGE THINGS with our KINDNESS and INSPIRE CHANGE in others who see the good we are doing.

A special thanks to all those who served with us at Pacific Garden Mission or our other holiday serving events.  For many of you this has become a long-standing tradition to “Pay it Forward” and give back to our community.  This is our chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus and celebrate all the blessings in our lives together with a community of people in our city of Chicago. We trust you left the serving event with a warm feeling inside you, knowing that you had an impact on the lives of others.

For more pictures of the event, please head over to our 2017 Pacific Garden Mission photo album on our Facebook page.

NOTE:  If any of you who volunteered took pictures that you would like us to share on our Facebook page, please send these to 

20 Fellowship Housing Moms Get Thanksgiving Blue Bags!

Note:  The following article was sent in by Heather Corins, Program Director at Fellowship Housing.

We were so blessed by Food For Friends this year and were able to distribute 20 turkeys and sides to single moms for Thanksgiving. Receiving a Thanksgiving meal is such a gift to the families we serve.

We are so grateful for everyone’s support in providing a meal to our families who otherwise would not be able to cook their family a Thanksgiving dinner.

The ongoing support and generosity of Food for Friends for their Blue Bag Event and Shopping Program is what helps the moms in Fellowship Housing achieve their goals of debt repayment and savings. Their success would not be possible without Food For Friends partnership.

Thank you for continuing to serve individuals and families in need.


Heather Corins

Fellowship Housing


Help us add new ripples in 2016


When you cast a stone or pebble into a pond have noticed the ripple effect from the point of impact?   Those tiny waves travel across the pond further and further until they reach the shores far away.    One definition describes the ripple effect like this:  “a spreading effect or series of consequences caused by a single action or event”.

Food for Friends first single action was a Thanksgiving meal for the homeless in 1994.  As each year passes, our vision is to grow the ripple effects of Food For Friends and continue to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through hands on serving events, feeding those less fortunate in the Chicagoland are.

The ripple effect continues to grow our cause.  Last year we had the opportunity to serve and feed well over a thousand people, holding new events that we had not done in previous years.    Also, many new volunteers joined our efforts and we had new partners and sponsors join our cause.

In 2016 we need you to continue to be a part of this movement to make a difference….to help us make new ripples.    We can not feed the homeless and less fortunate without your generous donations and support.  We are grateful for your continued help and volunteering.