Lakeview Pantry‘s first permanent home – the Sheridan market in Lakeview – has made a powerful impact on Chicago hunger relief, with every aspect of the design aiming to uplift clients lives. The tremendously successful model has led to an overwhelming amount of community support and participation, including many large food donations that had to be turned away due to space.
The Pantry organization, its board of trustees, and advisors, quickly crafted an expanded growth of services plan to create a large distribution center in the Andersonville neighborhood– a “hub”–that would supply the Sheridan market – a “spoke”–as well as future spokes of growth in years to come.
With the primary function being a large-scale intake warehouse, the “Hub” adapts an existing 10,000sf 1960’s masonry building with code-required upgrades, including new water service, sprinkler system, electrical service, mechanical and structural upgrades, and a ramp to make the space fully accessible to all. The new facility also includes social support services and Chicago’s first food pantry online-ordering and pick-up service.
Bright colors and large food graphics along the exterior windows reflect the DNA of the Sheridan market onto the new Warehouse. Like the Lakeview facility, the “Hub’s” light-filled waiting area welcomes clients with flowers and a greeter. A bright blue core connects the online market pick-up to the Warehouse and contains social support services in a series of huddle rooms, and camaraderie via the shared staff/volunteer community kitchen.
The new facility’s food delivery and storage space expands capacity, streamlines operations, and accommodates sizable donations to serve even more clients in the city. In this area, pre-existing building materials (brick, cmu, steel, gypsum roof deck) all sprayed white, create a single, cohesive space, brightened with both natural and LED lighting to illuminate the sorting, gleaning and packing activities taking place.
Ultimately working toward a hunger-free Chicago, the Lakeview Pantry’s Warehouse serves as a new model of food delivery, and a physical and spiritual hub for dignified, uplifting experiences for its growing community of staff, volunteers, and clientele. Everything to help, nothing to hinder.