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The North Suburban YMCA, in partnership with Hunger Resource Network & Hunger-Free Northbrook, is hosting a holiday donation drive for 160 students and their families.   The “Adopt a Student and Feed their Family” food drive is aimed at making the holidays a bit more festive while also supporting local businesses and restaurants during these challenging times.

In the area, 1 in 10 residents are food insecure, equaling about 4000 people, and the number is growing due to COVID-19.  There are more than 400 students on the free or reduced lunch program in our public schools and 160 of those students and their families are part of the twelve public elementary and middle schools in the area. 

With the help of the community, we are asking our members and the community to collect and donate specific food items purchased at a local grocery store, or purchase and donate gift cards from local restaurants and businesses to the families that need it most this year.

People who want to help can “adopt” one of the 160 local students and their families by contributing in one of two ways:

  1. Purchase a $25 gift card from a local grocery store to be used to buy a turkey, ham, or perishable food item PLUS purchase specific list items from your local grocer (shopping link can be found by clicking the button above. Cost: Approximately $50
  2. Purchase a $25 gift card from a local restaurant/retail business to give as a gift to the “adopted” family. Cost: $25

OPTIONAL: We also encourage families to include a family recipe so they can share their own family traditions during the holidays.


All non-perishable food donations must be double brown-bagged and dropped off at the NSYMCA at 2705 Techny Road in Northbrook by December 9th during regular business hours.  

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For those unable to do the shopping, the staff at the NSYMCA will shop for you.  Sign up to adopt a student and their family and the Y will contact you to make arrangements on your behalf for the donation.  


Grocery List

(APPROX COST $50.00)


  $25 gift card (towards a turkey or ham) ($25)

  1 (5 lb) bag of russet potatoes ($3.49)
  2 (6 oz) stuffing mix in a box (like “stovetop”) ($1.69 ea)
  2 (14.5 oz) cans of Fresh cut green beans ($1.79 ea)
  1 (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup ($1.99)
  1 (2.8 oz) crispy fried onions ($1.99)



  2 (15.25 oz) cake mix ($1.99 ea)
  2 (16 ounces) frosting in a can ($1.59 ea)


A family recipe to share on paper