Christmas in the Wards teams with Amazon to help families stock up on free groceries


NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. — Angela Reed is carrying on her mom’s Christmas tradition, planning a big turkey dinner.

But the rising cost of food can make that challenging. Grocery prices in November were 12% higher than last year’s.

“A dozen eggs is like $3, almost $4. I’m like, that’s crazy,” said Angela Reed of West Side.

Christmas in the Wards teamed up with Amazon to help relieve some of that financial pressure.

“We know families are striving, they’re working hard but it’s just not enough and so we try to provide more than enough,” said Latoyia Huggins, the executive director of Christmas in the Wards.

Christmas in the Wards has spread holiday cheer to Chicago’s underserved communities for 26 years and Huggins says in the last few years, they’ve noticed the need for food is rising.

“It forces people to make decisions that you know they shouldn’t have to make,” she said.

That’s why the group worked with community organizations and school districts to identify 100 families across Proviso Township to receive $150 each in free groceries from the Amazon Fresh store in North Riverside.

Making spirits bright – and tummies full is part of the Christmas in the Wards initiative.

“Every time you walk down an aisle, they’re like, ‘How are you? You know, can I help you,’” said Diane Rimpila.

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The effort makes it a little easier for Angela Reed to follow in her mom’s footsteps.

“We’re going to have a wonderful happy Christmas,” she said.

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