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Northwestern Settlement to Distribute Free Holiday Meals to Local Families

Chicago’s oldest continuously active settlement house carries forward tradition of care and service over a century in the making

December 6, 2023 (Chicago, IL) – On Saturday, December 9 at 12 p.m., Northwestern Settlement House will be giving out free holiday meals to local families at its historic settlement house building, located at 1400 W Augusta Boulevard in Chicago. In the spirit of the season, and with help from generous donors, the Settlement has fed thousands of Chicagoans in the holidays of years past by giving out packages of seasonal favorites that feed a family of four to six adults. The giveaway will be first-come, first-served, while supplies last.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Northwestern Settlement pivoted from in-person holiday banquets to curbside meal distribution for safety reasons. Now, the organization feeds hundreds of families each year by giving away pre-packed, high-quality food packages, in addition to its regularly operating food pantry. For the second year in a row, the organization will partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to provide a generous, healthy holiday meal of seasonal classics for local families, including: ham, chicken, canned goods, cake, and more. Community members will also receive a toiletry kit prepared by local first and fourth-grade students enrolled at Lasalle II School. In this year’s distribution, the Settlement expects to feed around 1,000 people.

According to the hunger relief organization, Feeding America, over half a million people are impacted by food insecurity every year in Cook County. “We see the ongoing need for basic necessities every day in our work at the Settlement,” said Carole Wood, President and CEO of Northwestern Settlement. “Our year-round food pantry and support services helped more than 17,000 people over the last year,” she added, “and this year we will probably exceed those numbers. The prices of basic goods are still too high for many people, and we see the result of that in the consistently high demand for our food pantry. Addressing food insecurity has been a pillar of our mission since our pantry opened during the Great Depression, and with distributions like this we continue to pursue that mission while kindling some warm holiday spirit in the community. I look forward to it every year!”

Chicago families in need have relied on Northwestern Settlement House for over 129 years. The nonprofit organization continues to assist Chicago families, children, and young adults facing distinct challenges at all stages of their lives.

Contact: Jamie Merchant, Director of Communications, Northwestern Settlement



Northwestern Settlement was founded as a traditional settlement house in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago in the late 19th century, providing social services, support, advocacy, and a place of belonging for the surrounding immigrant communities. Over 130 years later, its services have evolved to meet the needs of the time, but its purpose remains the same - to help young people and families thrive. The Settlement carries out this mission through high-quality programs, including early childhood education, a K-8 charter elementary school, after-school and teen programming, a food pantry, emergency services, bilingual mental health services, and a summer camp and outdoor education center in Delavan, Wisconsin. For more information visit

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