Theatre Company Involves Children in Effort to Alleviate Hunger

Youth from the Chicago Children’s Theatre have a fun moment at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, where they repackaged macaroni last summer for shelters, pantries and soup kitchens and participated in the creation of a PSA video to raise awareness about the depository’s services. Photo provided by the Chicago Children’s Theatre

Photos Above: The Chicago Children’s Theatre gathered children and their family members to help repackage macaroni noodles at the Greater Chicago Food Depository in July 2018. Photo provided by the Chicago Children’s Theatre

By Yolanda Y. Harris

At the Chicago Children’s Theatre, the arts are not just a source for entertainment, they’re also a vehicle for community service.

The theatre recently released a public service announcement (PSA) video that it created to increase awareness of the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s work to tackle hunger. The PSA features 12 children from the theatre’s community as they repackage macaroni noodles into family-sized portions for pantries, soup kitchens and shelters during the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s recent Kids Day Repack.

It also features a hip-hop dance from the theatre’s programming partner, The Happiness Club.The video was inspired by the theatre’s original world premier musical, “Last Stop on Market Street,” which is about a boy who travels with his grandmother to her job at a soup kitchen.The PSA was created with the help of a $5,000 Acting Up award from The Chicago Community Trust.

“The Chicago Children’s Theatre is deeply grateful to The Chicago Community Trust for the Acting Up award and the opportunity it gave us to celebrate the intersection of the arts with area nonprofits to enact real community change,” said Jacqui Russell, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s artistic director. Jacqui said the PSA project gave children a first-time experience at volunteering while expanding awareness about the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s services.

The Chicago Children’s Theatre, launched in 2005, is located at 100 S. Racine Ave., (the former 12th district police station). It is a professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and families.

Photos Above: Kay Kron, development associate, Chicago Children’s Theatre

View the Chicago Children’s Theatre Acting Up video application: