CARE FOR REAL

Food, Clothing, Support

Chicago, IL   |  www.careforreal.org

Mission

The mission of Care for Real is to help our neighbors in need in the Edgewater and surrounding northside Chicago communities by providing free programs and services including food distribution fives times a week, a clothing closet, deliveries to the homebound, a pet pantry, a lending library, case managment referrals and an Employment Resource Center to help our clients self stabilize and get back on their feet.

Ruling year info

2010

Executive Director

Gregory Gross

Main address

5339 N Sheridan Rd

Chicago, IL 60640 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-1962360

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Care for Real helps vulnerable individuals and families overcome food insecurity with dignity. In 2020, The Greater Chicago Food Depository estimated that there were at least 45,000 neighbors experiencing food insecurity in CfR's service area. Feeding America finds that 1 in 8 children in Illinois are experiencing hunger and over 1.2 million residents are food insecure. The need is significant. CfR is proud to alleviate one challenge by providing fresh, nutritious food six days a week through pantry and home delivery operations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Food Distribution

Care for Real distributes food six days a week through locations in Edgewater and Rogers Park. In Edgewater, CfR offers a walk-up, client-choice food pantry on Mondays from 4-7pm, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am-12pm, and Saturdays from 9am-1pm. The organization offers a walk-up, client-choice food pantry in Rogers Park on Tuesdays from 12-2pm and a Drive-Thru Pantry on Thursdays from 4-6pm also in Rogers Park.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants
Homeless people
Adults

Marie's Clothing Closet hosted over 2,000 appointments in 2021, offering seasonal clothing that is organized by a team of volunteers to ensure that clients can have a dignified shopping experience.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Immigrants and migrants

Care for Real provides pet food and select pet supplies to food pantry clients. The Pet Pantry ensures that no neighbor is forced to choose between feeding themselves or their pet. Clients can receive pet food once a month at the Edgewater location. In 2021, CfR served nearly 700 households and almost 2,500 pets.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants
Adults

CfR relies on community support to stock personal care items at the pantries including toiletries, baby products, and household items. Food pantry clients can receive personal care items monthly.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Immigrants and migrants

The Home Delivery Program offers groceries twice a month for homebound seniors and those with illness or mobility difficulties and have no one who can pick food up for them.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
People with disabilities

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of families served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Food Distribution

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Care for Real distributes food six days a week through locations in Edgewater and Rogers Park. This number reflects the number of households served in 2021 through food distributions.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Care for Real relies on the support of hundreds of volunteers to help distribute food six days a week, organize donations, assist clients, and support operations.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Care for Real's main goal is to ensure that neighbors in need have access to fresh and nutritious food.

Additionally, Care for Real completed strategic planning informed by communities the organization serves in summer 2021. The outcome of community surveys and strategic planning sessions identified priority areas to guide our efforts over the next 2-4 years. These priorities include enhancing infrastructure to support priorities, reimagining the mission for changing communities, and achieving sustainability through financial planning and strategic partnerships.



Care for Real is a source of food for thousands of neighbors each year, distributing groceries to neighbors in need six days a week through locations in Edgewater and Rogers Park. CfR also provides clothing, pet food, personal care items, and referrals for food pantry clients. Distributing 2,046,297 pounds of food in the last fiscal year, CfR is a safety net in the community for neighbors facing food insecurity. Through every stage of the pandemic, CfR launched new programs and expanded operations to meet evolving community needs. The organization is committed to sustaining expanded operations to continue to meet the needs of the community.

Addressing and assessing the physical space needed to serve more neighbors facing hunger is a primary area of focus. With the intention of welcoming clients indoors again in the future, having a suitable space that supports a dignified and safe visit is imperative. CfR will explore new space options in both Edgewater and Rogers Park while addressing other strategic priorities and maintaining existing operations.

CfR will focus on refining its mission statement to more accurately communicate its broad scope of services and better inform the community.

The third strategic priority is to achieve sustainability through financial planning and strategic partnerships. The goal to foster strong partnerships with other service providers, community leaders, businesses, and community groups will help CfR to build a strong referral network to better serve clients. Identifying community and business partners will secure volunteers, in-kind donations, and financial support while also building awareness about the organization. CfR will also embark on developing an informed financial plan to help sustain current operation







In 2021, Care for Real hosted nearly 60,000 pantry visits; a 76% increase compared to 2020 without having to turn any neighbor away. CfR's dedicated staff of 11 and volunteer community of more than 500 individuals ensure that we continue to meet the needs of the community. The organization works hard to establish partnerships with retail partners throughout the city and suburbs to conduct donation pickups seven days a week to keep shelves stocked. Throughout every evolution since its founding more than 50 years ago, Care for Real has remained committed to helping neighbors in need.

Care for Real has modified operations and launched new programs to meet the changing needs of the community throughout the pandemic. The organization began renting additional space in Edgewater to expand our warehouse due to the need for more food. CfR launched a new food pantry in Rogers Park in 2020 and later added a second distribution day with a drive-thru pantry in 2021. In early 2021, CfR started a home delivery program for neighbors who were homebound due to illness. At the start of 2022, CfR moved Monday distribution to evening hours in response to client surveys requesting more accessible hours for those who have daytime commitments.

Task forces and committees have been organized to begin working on strategic priorities. As of March 2022, CfR has created a Development Plan, started a Financial Philosophy and "People" Philosophy, and begun to review mission, vision, and values. Additionally, Care for Real is working with a committee focused on physical space to better utilize current facilities and explore space needs.

Financials

CARE FOR REAL
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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CARE FOR REAL

Board of directors
as of 03/23/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Debbie Mellinger


Board co-chair

Jim Nixon

Kim Mendiola

Nina Newhauser

Claire Rooney

Jane Clifford

Jennifer Schmidt

Don Cortelyou

Blair Harvey

Alton Lynum

William Massey

Neda Nozari

Moronke Tyler

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/23/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data