December / January Recap
Humboldt Park Solidarity Network
Greetings and well wishes from the HPSN team! The last two months have continued to be busy for Humboldt Park Solidarity Network and we are thrilled to report the following updates. As always, none of this could be possible without your support, so on behalf of us and your neighbors, thank you!
Food and Supply deliveries:
In December and January, we were able to make biweekly food and monthly supply deliveries to about 77 households, totaling over 300 individuals.
We were able to do this using a combination of food that was rescued (and may have otherwise gone to waste) and bulk purchases. We are grateful to our mutual-aid partners across the city, and the volunteers in our network who work cooperatively to make this possible.
Our team has also been working to improve outreach to the families who receive these deliveries, so that we can better understand and serve their needs, including improving our understanding of specific needs, dietary restrictions, and preferences, so that we can incorporate this feedback into how we purchase items.
We also have a team that works to fulfill specific one-time requests for items like groceries, clothing items, supplies, etc. that was able to complete over 40 specific requests over the past two months.
[Jan. 30] Dead Spade’s No Masters; No Flakes
[Dec. 24] Holiday Hot Meal Distro
250 meals to families and The Boulevard Shelter
Words by your kind neighbor, Marisa Klug-Morataya:
This was the first time in my 13 years since I moved away from LA that I didn't go home for the holidays. I had pretty much resigned myself to the idea of just making some holiday hooch and feeling FOMO for the rest of my family while I hung out with my sister and made video calls. But I guess you could say all of a sudden I was feeling the Christmas spirit, haha! What started as a modest plan to cook a (underscore, A, as in ONE) turkey and maybe a ham and some mashed potatoes quickly snowballed after I made a little social media call to action. I was ready and willing to do the cooking but having been basically unemployed for the duration of quarantine, I needed some funds to buy supplies.
I try my best to stay humble about most things but I have no qualms in saying I have THE BEST, most loving and generous friends in the universe. After only a few hours there were hundreds of dollars in donations, promises of supplies, offers to help cook, all rolling in faster than I knew what to do with. Add a few more days to that equation and suddenly it was a couple thousand and all hands on deck.
The very lovely folks at the recently shuttered Cafe Marie-Jeanne let me raid their to-go container stash and even offered to let me use their entire kitchen. Another wonderful restaurant, No Bones Beach Club, also recently facing their own hardships and closings, reached out to provide as much vegan mac-n-cheese as we needed (and a bottle of rum for the chef. Much appreciated). My pals at the vegan catering company Ste Martaen dropped off three industrial sized coolers to keep everything fresh. Epic Spices donated...you guessed it, all the spices.
Friends were making grocery trips for me (I don't have a car), convincing their places of work to donate food, my neighbors let me use their oven, a much more capable and seasoned restaurant industry friend helped me meal plan, HPSN provided drivers and met an endless amount of last minute needs from labor to moral support at the drop of a hat. I couldn't believe we were actually going to pull this off. My feeling of confidence was definitely tested throughout the process, but whenever I felt overwhelmed by doubt someone was there to push forward ("someone" was usually Tanya). Besides, at this point we had already promised hot Christmas Eve meals to an entire shelter and dozens of families. So, there was really no time for fear! I stayed up until 6:30am the night before learning how to and spatchcocking turkeys so I could fit two in my oven at once. Look it up. I promise it won't take you to the dark part of the internet.
Tanya took care of all the logistics like a pro. Seriously, where does she learn this stuff? It was kinda of a blur the next day, maybe it was the three hours of sleep, but we ended up cooking, packing and distributing 250 hot meals to our beautiful neighborhood. And it was good food, too! That one turkey I wanted to cook turned into 9...and 6 hams, about 40lbs of mashed potatoes, 12 quarts of gravy, and unknown amounts of herbed sweet potato, glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, and pre-made dinner rolls and cupcakes.
Listen, there was no time for baking, okay? This was the first time since I was furloughed from my bartending job in March that I felt that familiar feeling of being in the weeds. And it felt GREAT. Best. Christmas. Ever.
Special thanks to: HPSN crew + Kristin Lee (MorePostCardsPlease)
[Jan. 6] Dia de Los Reyes Magos
Día de Los Reyes Magos, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, marks the biblical story of the three Magi — Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar — who, guided by a star, found baby Jesus and brought him gifts. Part of the fun tradition of Three Kings Day involves what children do the night before Jan. 6 to make sure they get gifts from the Three Wise Men. In Mexico and Spain, children expect to receive their gifts next to the shoes they leave out the night before. In Puerto Rico, children fill up a box with grass for the Magi’s camels. Kids in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay do both.
Yauco x Las Lolitas x Sanar Aesthetics
On Wednesday, January 6th, while many were witnessing the horrific insurrection, we were fully engaged in celebrating Three Kings Day. We partnered with Yauco Food & Liquors and Las Lolitas to distribute:
Toys by Sanar Aesthetics, hot meals by StirThePot, ArtsyInTheKitchen, and the HOPE-Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, balloons by Anayeli’s Decorations, candy by Belmont Cragin Mutual Aid, Winter coats + gear, and PPE
[Jan. 12] Clemente Food Pantry Pop-Up
The Roberto Clemente Communicate Academy food pantry is managed by Clemente students through the Clemente Student Voice committee. Our lead organizers are Jackie Guzman and Cameron Velazquez.
The pantry has been able to replenish for nine weeks in a row thanks to the support of our community members through physical donations, financial donations, and emotional support.
As We knew before the pandemic and now see more vigilantly during this pandemic - food security is one of the main struggles in America. However, this reality isn’t always talked about and especially with Covid-19 ravaging our communities and driving an existing issue to different levels of struggle.
The food pantry is our modest effort to combat the food needs in our community and also to provide hope and education for those feeling this desire to support.
The Clemente food pantry helps us stay connected and bring support around the community. We’ve recently been expanding more towards pop-up efforts and the first pop-up we had was successful. We started with a few things on the shelf but as many teachers and community members stopped by to show support everything was filled until we didn’t have enough space. It was amazing to see how many people were present to support students and our community at large.
We want to let everyone know the food pantry is located outside of Roberto Clemente by the skatepark and it’s open everyday and anytime of the week, everyone is welcomed to grab whatever they need and donations are also welcome.
- Dandole Tech Dándole Tech addresses the Digital Divide by providing future leaders accessibility to technology that has been repurposed to not only enlighten minds but create limitless opportunities for the tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
- SNAP Toolkit
- Chicago free Covid Testing Sites
COMING UP: FEBRUARY
HASH CHICAGO - Meal for a neighbor. Order here.
- Do you or someone in your network need assistance? Fill out the aid request form!
- Formulario En Español
- Recommended Covid-19 testing site:
- 2148 N. Long Ave, Chicago, IL 60639
- Monday-Friday 10am-3:00pm
- Walk-up and Drive-through available
- No insurance or ID needed
- Free, even without insurance
- Appointment recommended
Fundraising update & donations needed!
This month, HPSN’s fundraising team launched a fundraising drive to increase monthly income to help sustain HPSN’s work. We set a goal of gaining 60 new monthly donors by the end of January. As of this writing (and including some new donations that came in in February), we have 47 new monthly donors totaling $990 dollars. We also received new one-time donations in January totaling $2125 dollars. Thank you so much to those who support HPSN financially, in addition to all those who give their time, materials, physical labor, creativity, collaboration, care, and energy in other ways. All pieces of this work are crucial. We still need more regular donations to sustain our work, so please give if you can.
Chicago Cross-Neighborhood Solidarity Fundraiser
- December 18th Phone bank. Donate here.
Winter Drive - collected supplies, toys, shelf-stable items that were distributed
- Flo Restaurant
- Casa Hernandez
*Supply donations can be dropped off at:
Anayeli’s Decorations (3511 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60647)!
Your donations help fund community needs like:
- Baby supplies (diapers, formula, wipes)
- Personal care items
- (period products, toiletries)
- PPE (masks, hand sanitizer, gloves)
- Medical supplies
- (diabetic testing trips, first aid)
- School supplies (headphones for e-learning, notebooks, backpacks)
- Fresh food & shelf stable items
- Household supplies
- (cleaning supplies, paper products)
- And more!
HOW TO DONATE:
Open Collective (for recurring, tax-deductible donations, and/or for cash assistance)
- Delivery drivers to pick up and deliver food boxes each week
- Spanish speakers to help with Wellness Checks and Dispatch for aid requests
- Fundraising gurus to lend a hand raising money!
- Have another skill you’d like to offer to help out the Humboldt Park Community?
- If you answered with an enthusiastic yes to any of these questions, please be in touch!
- We now have a way to sign up for a volunteer shift with HPSN to build boxes for deliveries. Follow this link to our volunteer sign-up form!
Join us on Slack!
Have questions, concerns, or ideas on how to support the Humboldt Park Community?
Please reach out!
Call or text: 312-883-7526
BEFORE VALENTINE’S DAY