Several private & public schools, food pantries, Norwood Park Historical Society among NW Side entities receiving microgrants from city; grants listed for 38th, 39th, 41st, 45th wards
by BRIAN NADIG
Several schools, food pantries and other nonprofit organizations on the Northwest Side are set to receive a portion of the city’s $5 million “microgrants,” which will be shared evenly among the 50 wards.
In the 45th Ward, $25,000 is earmarked for the New Hope Community Food Pantry, 6125 W. Foster Ave., to buy a vehicle to transport food, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, 4840 W. Byron St., for crisis counseling to ward residents regardless of their ability to pay and Saint Constance School, 5841 W. Strong St., for an after-school program.
Also in the 45th Ward, $15,000 is being allocated for the Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity School, 6040 W. Ardmore Ave., for a recycling program, which will include the planting of trees, bushes and flowers in the community. Another $10,000 of grant money has not been officially earmarked yet, according to Alderman James Gardiner’s office.
In the 38th Ward, $25,000 is being allocated to Saint Francis Borgia School, 3535 N. Panama Ave., and Pope Francis Global Academy, 6143 W. Irving Park Road, and $20,000 to Saint Robert Bellarmine School, 6036 W. Eastwood Ave.
“It’s for after-school programs,” Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) said, adding that it is important to support private schools because Chicago Public Schools could not handle the influx of students if these schools were to shut down.
Also in the 38th Ward, $20,000 is being allocated for the Saint Cyprian’s Food Pantry, 6535 W. Irving Park Road, and $10,000 for the Joined Hands Food Pantry, which distributes food in the parking lot of the former Our Lady of Victory Parish near Sunnyside and Lockwood avenues.
Saint Robert and Joined Hands are now located in the 45th Ward following the remap, but at the time the grant requests were submitted to the city both were in the 38th Ward, Sposato said. The two organizations continue to service many residents in the new 38th Ward, he said.
In the 41st Ward, $25,000 is being earmarked for the Norwood Park Historical Society, which is located at the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House, 5624 N Newark Ave., and the Notre Dame Wrestling Club, whose facility is at 6649 N. Oliphant Ave.
“This grant will help us overcome the lack of revenue during the pandemic and strengthen our finances for the upcoming year,” said historical society president Bob Kelly. In 1987 the society purchased the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House, which was built in 1833.
Also in the 41st Ward, each of the following schools will receive $10,000: Resurrection College Prep High School, 7500 W. Talcott Ave., Immaculate Conception School, 7263 W. Talcott Ave., Saint Monica Academy, 5115 Mont Clare Ave., Saint Eugene School, 7930 W. Foster Ave., and Saint Juliana School, 7400 W. Touhy Ave.
Alderman Anthony Napolitano’s chief of staff Chris Vittorio said that the alderman had hoped to work with local chambers to provide grants to some small businesses, but time constraints on submitting the requests and delays with the city’s processing of those requests prevented that.
In the 39th Ward, two of the grants will go to Volta School, 4950 N. Avers Ave., and Palmer School, 5051 N. Kenneth Ave., according to Alderman Samantha Nugent’s office.
The grant money is part of the city’s 2022 budget, and Sposato said that he hopes the program will continue in 2023.
The new program was seen in part as a way for Mayor Lori Lightfoot to gain aldermanic support for her 2022 budget, arguing that good aldermen have the pulse of their ward and the grants will help communities.
Grant recipients will have to submit vouchers for the funds, which will have to be spent on the programs and activities outlined in the requests.