Lombard, IL, November 15, 2023 — The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago today announced that its philanthropic ministry, Project HOPE, has organized, distributed, and delivered more than one million meals to people in need across the Chicago area since the ministry first launched three years ago.
Project HOPE (which stands for Humanitarian Outreach and Philanthropic Engagement) surpassed its milestone after more than 30,000 meals were delivered to The Palatine Food Pantry, Journeys the Road Home of Palatine, and the Midwest Veteran’s Closet of North Chicago following the 2023 Clergy-Laity Assembly.
Project HOPE exists to provide greater food security and stable housing for underserved and disadvantaged families and individuals in the Chicago area. Populations that have benefitted from the ministry’s past efforts include senior citizens, homeless residents, orphaned children, pregnant teenagers, and abused and battered women. In addition to its outreach, Project HOPE also conducts inreach in the form of in-kind and spiritual support to needy families as identified by members of the clergy.
“What started as a modest program in a church basement three years ago today is a mature ministry making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable throughout the Chicago area,” said Yanni Sianis, Chairman of Project HOPE. “We continue to be forever grateful by the outpouring of support from our partners, sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Our ability to serve many regularly is a direct outcome of their compassion, generosity, and devotion.”
Each Project HOPE meal bag, containing 25 individual meals, adheres to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) dietary guidelines for balanced, nutritious meals. Project HOPE collaborates with social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and various faith communities to ensure volunteer and financial support efforts are reaching and making a difference among those in need.
Project HOPE launched in January 2020 and later received a $55,000 seed donation from the Chicago CEO Covid-19 Coalition. The ministry has since expanded to partner with Rush University Medical Center to deliver 74,000 pounds of food to support more than 600 families located in West Garfield Park, one of the most severe food deserts in Chicago. Project HOPE also partners with North Side Housing and Supportive Services having underwritten more than 3,000 nights of housing for homeless residents seeking safe shelter, mental health counseling, drug addiction services, and job placement services. In the coming year, Project HOPE will partner with the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services to support its Meals on Wheels program for eligible senior citizens.
“One of the most meaningful ways we, as a faith community, can serve God is through caring for and suffering with the other,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. “I am profoundly moved and inspired by the generous sponsors, the anonymous donors, the volunteers of boundless grace, and the families with loving hearts who have made Project HOPE a ministry that truly delivers on its good name every day.”
To date, Project HOPE relies on volunteer support among parishioners through its HOPE Parish Liaison Program and partners, as well as in-kind and financial support from generous donors. As a result, Project HOPE logs no operating expenses allowing 100 percent of the funds raised to flow to populations in need.
Project HOPE and the Metropolis of Chicago wish to express their deep gratitude to following organizations:
Andy’s Deli, Athens Construction Co, Inc, Avli, Brookhaven Marketplace, Buona Beef, Cermak, Chicago Sweet Connection Bakery, Elgin Fresh Market, Feed6, Fiesta Produce, Grecian Delight, Greek Kitchen, Hellenic American Leadership Council, Kronos, Metropolis of Chicago Parishes, National Hellenic Museum, Pete’s Market, Produce World, Christ Panos Foods Corporation, The Simple Greek, Shepard Medical Products, Testa Produce.
A Just Harvest Soup Kitchen, Ashanti Residential, Bessie’s Table – Soup Kitchen, Deborah’s Place, Des Plaines Food Pantry, Emmanuel Lutheran Church Food Pantry, Fight to Feed, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Humboldt Park Solidarity Network, La Casa Norte, Lakeview Food Pantry, Lincoln Park Community Center, Merryville Academy, Midwest Veterans Closet, New Age Services, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Northfield Township Food Pantry, Northside Housing, Palatine Food Pantry, JOURNEYS, Philoptochos Feed the Hungry, Primo Center, RUSH Community Engagement, St. James Food Pantry, The BLOC Chicago, The Night Ministry, The Road Home, Westside Health, WINGS Program Battered Woman, Parishioners of the Metropolis of Chicago
To donate, volunteer, or get involved, visit www.chicago.goarch.org/ministry/hope.
Photo Credit: Lex Alexander Photography
About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago
Tracing its roots back to the early 1920s, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the bishopric of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Indiana, and central Missouri, consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities. The Metropolis is one of nine eparchies in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Lombard, Illinois. For more information and to get involved, visit our website and/or sign up to receive Metropolis news. For further information, contact the Metropolis of Chicago at: email@example.com or 312-736-2280.