The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago announced today the launch of a new ministry designed to address food security and stable housing for families and individuals living in the Chicago area. Called Project HOPE (Humanitarian Outreach and Philanthropic Engagement), the new ministry is operating and already has distributed more than five tons of food and more than 2,000 meals to people in need.
“Project HOPE exists both as a method to provide humanitarian aid to those who require it, and as a calling to our brothers and sisters to, according to the Holy Gospel, harness their gifts to serve others and faithfully administer God’s grace,” said Yanni Sianis, Chairman of Project HOPE. “Throughout the life of this ministry, we pledge always to maintain both these imperatives.”
Project HOPE has received generous financial and in-kind support from Andy’s Sausage, Athen’s Construction, Grecian Delight, the Greek Kitchen, Kronos Foods, Panos Foods, Testa Foods, Sweet Connections, and several grocers and food suppliers who wish to remain anonymous.
Beyond meal bags that volunteers assemble on the campus of the National Hellenic Museum on Thursday evenings, Project HOPE also assembles and distributes “COVID-19 Kits” that include sanitizer, masks, water bottles, snacks, and rubber gloves, as well as “Care Kits” for the homeless that include bottles of water, deodorant, dental hygiene supplies, and snacks.
To date, Project HOPE has supported more than 2,000 families and individuals throughout the Chicago area, including those served by Chicago CRED, Deborah’s Place, and the Lincoln Park Community Center.
“What started as a food program in a church basement is now a broader ministry of our Holy Metropolis that provides care to the most vulnerable in the Chicago area,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. “I am proud of the leadership and hard work of the laity and clergy who established Project HOPE as a living expression of Christian love, and I am pleased that this initiative is a direct outcome of the Strategic Leadership and Transformative Action executive education program at the Fletcher School of Tufts University, which was made possible through generous funding by FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism.”
The Metropolis of Chicago is grateful to the Office of Secretary of State Jesse White as well as Ald. Walter Burnett and U.S. Rep. Jerry “Chuy” Garcia for their collaboration; to Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) for its volunteer and logistical support; to the National Hellenic Museum for providing space to store and organize food for delivery to those in need; and to Fr. Peter Spiro for helping the Metropolis of Chicago develop a broader, metropolis-wide, philanthropic and humanitarian mission.
About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago
Tracing its roots back to 1923, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the diocese of Greek Orthodox faithful in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Indiana, and southeastern Missouri, consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities. The Metropolis is one of nine regions in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Lombard, Illinois. For more information and to get involved, visit our website, join a Strategic Planning Team, and sign up to receive Metropolis news.