The City of Chicago Announces New Pilot to Improve Food Access for Chicago Residents with Disabilities

The Vivery Idea Lab pilot is a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities, Community Safety Coordination Center, and the Thierer Family Foundation creating in-home delivery and technology solutions removing barriers to food access 

CHICAGO – The Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities (MOPD), Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC), and the Thierer Family Foundation, an organization helping nonprofits increase their impact through technology, today announced a collaborative effort to increase food access for Chicago residents who live with any disabilities. Working closely together, MOPD, CSCC, and the Thierer Family Foundation initiated the Vivery Idea Lab in-home delivery pilot to provide access to nutritious food for high-risk, challenging-to-serve populations in the City who may experience barriers to accessing food options.

Vivery Idea Lab from the Thierer Family Foundation is an incubator focused on testing, validating, and scaling customizable solutions to increase access to nutritious food. This pilot, leveraging the Vivery platform, includes an in-home delivery solution that fills a critical need in food insecurity for homebound individuals with disabilities, who face tremendous challenges in accessing regular and nutritious food. Through a collaboration with nearby pantries and a community produce supplier, these individuals will receive monthly shelf stables, perishables, and fresh produce, all delivered in-home by a local delivery service. This pilot will help further integrate the City of Chicago as a partner into the emergency food response ecosystem, by providing an easy and adaptable digital tool to connect with and serve the disability community.

“I appreciate the partnership and efforts between the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities, the Community Safety Coordination Center, and the Thierer Family Foundation to create a pathway for food equity, especially for our residents who are living with a disability,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The new Vivery Idea Lab pilot will help eliminate such barriers to access through in-home food delivery services, pantries and community suppliers, who will help create a support network that better uplifts our most vulnerable residents.”

“The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) is honored to partner with the Thierer Family Foundation, along with the Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) on this ground-breaking pilot with Vivery. Together, our efforts address the barriers that people with disabilities experience in accessing food for themselves and their families, by increasing an available in-home delivery option for residents of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood”, said MOPD Commissioner Rachel Arfa. “This is yet another way that we all work together to make Chicago a more accessible city, by addressing food insecurity in our City’s neighborhoods.” 

The Community Safety Coordination Center works with City departments and sister agencies to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing the root causes of violence across Chicago. This program is part of their people-based strategy. 

“Working to combat food insecurity in communities that have been historically disinvested in is a key component of addressing community safety through a public health framework,” said Gregorio Martinez, Interim Chief Coordination Officer at the CSCC. “This pilot reflects the city’s commitment to coordinate services in neighborhoods that need it most.”  

The Vivery Idea Lab in-home delivery pilots are validating innovative ways to provide a sustainable, fully-funded and supported solution for in-home delivery, so everyone, regardless of their circumstance, can have access to food. With the Vivery in-home delivery system in place, pantries are able to identify the most efficient routes to reach those individuals, saving time and increasing capacity, and recipients can get a level of personal support they didn’t have previously through this high-touch delivery service.

“By partnering with the Mayor’s office and other visionary leaders in our local community, we can test new and big ideas that hold the promise of significantly impacting access to food,” said Nasrin Thierer, Founder of Thierer Family Foundation. “When public and private forces partner together, it means we can really scale these efforts and make them sustainable.”

The Vivery Idea Lab’s pilot programs have made more than 500 deliveries to date. The partnership with the MOPD and CSCC aims to enhance this further as it targets up to 2000 deliveries to 150 individuals in the Austin community, providing them with consistent access to food from pantries closest to them for six months.

To learn more about, or to support these in-home delivery pilots, visit Vivery Idea Lab.

About Thierer Family Foundation

The Thierer Family Foundation was founded by Nasrin and Mark Thierer in December 2015, with a mission to increase the impact of nonprofits by helping them leverage technology to be more effective, efficient, and sustainable. The foundation strategically funds innovative technology projects to modernize access to food and significantly change the way an organization can serve their target audience. By investing in technology, the Thierer Family Foundation can greatly impact an organization’s reach, help organizations deliver on their mission, and ultimately serve more people. Their hope is that this approach will pave the way for other funders to see the value of investing in technology within the nonprofit sector. Head to to learn more. 


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