A Brief History …
The Friendship Center has successfully operated as a food pantry since 1970, providing food to neighbors in need. It began as a very small program in the North Park Covenant Church, where it continued to expand over the next three decades. The Friendship Center obtained its own nonprofit status in the 1990s, and the North Park Friendship Center moved into a storefront on Foster Avenue in 2005.
Recognizing the success of its food pantry program in the Albany Park and North Park neighborhoods, the Friendship Center expanded in September 2013 and opened a second location, the Lincoln Square Friendship, to serve the Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, and West Ridge neighborhoods, where an estimated 5,500 people are food insecure.
In 2018, the Lincoln Square Friendship Center moved to a larger location, and the North Park location closed in early 2020.
Today, the Friendship Center at 2711 W. Lawrence is open four days a week for grocery items and other staples. It operates a pantry dedicated to pet food and supplies the third Saturday of every month and serves a hot meal on Thursday evenings to anyone who stops by.