Shopping Cart Race Aims to Alleviate Hunger from the Streets of Chicago

Rick and Morty
Team Rick and Morty gearing up for the race on Saturday. (Abhinanda Datta/MEDILL)

By Abhinanda Datta

Hundreds of people gathered on West Hubbard Street on Saturday to witness CHIditarod – a volunteer-driven epic shopping cart race organized by the CHIditarod Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to solve Chicago’s hunger challenges.

The event started 12 years ago and each year has seen more than 100 teams participating to collect food and money. This year 116 teams composed of five members, in costumes, competed in decorating and racing shopping carts for a good cause. Each team contributed at least 69 pounds of food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD).

“This event has been extremely successful,” said Stephanie Esposito, a member of the CHIditarod Foundation, in an email, “and we have been told that we are the largest single day food drive in Chicago, since the GCFD has raised more than 150,000 pounds of food for Chicago’s hungry and more than $145,000 for local nonprofits fighting hunger in the Chicago area.

“Since the beginning of the CHIditarod Foundation’s grant program, $95,000 has been given out to like minded nonprofits who have new and creative ways of solving food scarcity,” Esposito continued. “This year Kraft Heinze has donated 2,000 pounds of food and we have had over 3,969 pounds in large donation dropped off ahead of race day.”

Photo at top: Team Rick and Morty gearing up for the race on Saturday. (Abhinanda Datta/MEDILL)