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Northwestern Settlement to Distribute Free Thanksgiving Meals for Local Families

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

November 12, 2023 (Chicago, IL) – On Saturday, November 18th at 12 p.m., Northwestern Settlement House will be giving out free Thanksgiving 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 Thanksgiving distributions of years past by giving out packages of holiday favorites that feed a family of four to six adults. The giveaway will be first-come, first-served, while supplies last.

Northwestern Settlement traditionally holds an in-person Thanksgiving meal for community members. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization pivoted 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.

For the second year in a row, Northwestern Settlement will partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to provide a generous, healthy holiday meal of Thanksgiving classics for local families, including: turkey, ham, chicken, fresh potatoes, onions, stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned goods, rice, and more. In this year’s distribution, the Settlement expects to feed around 1,200 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, and this year will probably see us helping even more. Providing our neighbors and families with what they need to enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal for the Thanksgiving holiday is part of our year-round efforts to address food security, which are sorely needed at a time, like now, when the prices of a lot of basic groceries and goods are still high for many people.”

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. “The more support our community can provide to those in need, the more likely they are to pay it forward to their community when they are back on their feet, '' adds CEO Carole Wood.

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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