Food & Nutrition

A healthy diet is central to health for people of all ages. For the individuals and families that Heartland Alliance Health serves, however, nutrition is most often beyond their reach. With little income, no place to call home and limited access to nutritious foods, our participants struggle to get enough to eat, let alone obtain the healthy foods that will help them improve their health.

Heartland Alliance Health and the Vital Bridges food program are committed to securing high-quality foods and providing participants with the knowledge to best support their health. Download the required intake documents here.

The food and nutrition program offers the following services to support improved nutrition.

Food Distribution and Meals

For low-income people living with HIV/AIDS throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, HAH offers options for them to access nutritious food through the Vital Bridges program:

  • There are three grocery centers in the the Edgewater, Englewood and Garfield Park communities in the city. Eligible participants can shop weekly, selecting nutritious food equal to 10 meals per week from a menu of fresh and non-perishable options.

Each year, HAH provides nutritious food for more than 400,000 meals per year for low-income people living with HIV.

For participants in our residential programs, meals are prepared on-site and served in a community setting. Under the guidance of a Registered Dietitian, staff members and participants work together to plan and prepare the meals, ordering food on a weekly basis.

Nutrition Counseling and Education Services

HAH has a team of four Registered Dietitians who provide nutrition education and counseling across the organization to our diverse populations. The dietitian team offers individual and group services with a focus on helping people develop healthy eating habits and build nutritious diets. Services include:

  • For people living with HIV, individual and group education and counseling sessions are available at each of the grocery centers every week. These sessions include cooking demonstrations and workshops presented by the dietitians.
  • For participants in the health center, individual nutrition counseling is available when referred by a provider to address specific health concerns, like hypertension or diabetes.
  • For participants in the residential programs, individual counseling and group education are available to teach cooking skills, increase physical activity with walking groups, and plan healthy meals.

Each year, the dietitians provide nearly 1,500 nutrition education and counseling sessions to more than 800 participants.

Food Program Intake (Restricted to people who are HIV positive) – Rashonda Mays, 773-826-7066
For general information – Laura Samnadda, 773-826-7066

Download the required intake documents here.

FOOD PROGRAM HOURS (must qualify):

North Side Pantry
Tuesdays: noon – 6:00 pm
Thursdays: noon – 3:00 pm; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturdays: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

West Side Pantry
Tuesdays: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fridays: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Saturdays – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

South Side Pantry
Thursdays: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm; 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Fridays: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Saturdays: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm