Chicago, IL – McDonald's Corporation announced today it will invest in 40 Chicago-based nonprofit organizations that are addressing some of the city's most pressing needs for Opportunity Youth through its Chicago Community Impact Grants Program, developed in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust (the Trust).
Grants totaling $3.5 million were awarded to organizations that foster safe, healthy and thriving community support systems for young people, particularly local Black and Latinx youth, who face multiple barriers to employment and education.
"With Chicago as home to our global headquarters, we're prioritizing our investment in the socio-economic wellbeing of our city for the long-term by partnering with leading community groups," said Joe Erlinger, President of McDonald's USA. "These organizations provide critical support to our neighborhoods and share our mission to reduce barriers to educational and economic opportunity. Together, we are taking a meaningful step forward in our commitment to ensuring our communities thrive for generations to come."
In 2021, the McDonald's team held conversations with local leaders to solicit guidance on ways to best support the Chicago community – and bolstering the futures of the city's young people became the primary focus of this grant program. The team then partnered with the Trust to identify local organizations that work specifically with Black and Latinx youth on the South and West sides of the city and provide ongoing life skills training and pre-employment support, as well as critical services like mental health programs and mentorship opportunities. By investing in organizations across the city that have dedicated resources and programming, the grants will help support the success of future generations and help them achieve their full potential.
For the complete list of grant recipients, please visit McDonald's Newsroom.
"We know that when we invest in our youth, we're investing in our city and region's future," said Andrea Sáenz, Interim President and CEO, of The Chicago Community Trust. "As the Chicago region's community foundation, we are delighted to work alongside McDonald's to positively impact the trajectory of our youth for years to come."
The grant program expands on McDonald's longstanding community philanthropic efforts, and the Trust's mission to build a Chicago where equity is central and opportunity is in reach for all. For over 100 years, community members and civic leaders have partnered with the Trust to address the Chicago region's pressing needs and connect philanthropy to impact. From providing unemployment relief in the Great Depression to supporting nonprofits serving the most vulnerable neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust has collaborated with the region's stakeholders to effect lasting change that moves the entire region forward.
In recent years, McDonald's has supported a variety of nonprofits through corporate partnerships and multimillion-dollar investments with organizations including the International Youth Foundation, the Obama Foundation, the Chicago Apprentice Network, Skills for Chicagoland's Future, the American Red Cross and Ronald McDonald House Charities®. Additionally, McDonald's franchisees support the Chicagoland community through events such as the McDonald's Operators of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana's longstanding Food for the Body & Spirit annual turkey and trimmings giveaway to give back to the local community and spread hope to those less fortunate during the Thanksgiving season.
As one of the world's leading brands headquartered in Chicago, McDonald's believes it has a responsibility to fulfill its purpose of feeding and fostering communities in its own neighborhood. McDonald's Global Impact team, which includes experts in Community Impact & Philanthropy and Government Relations & Public Policy, uses their extensive experience with local charitable organizations and knowledge of the Chicagoland region to help shape McDonald's corporate giving and strengthen the company's relationships with community partners. To learn more, please visit Community Connection (mcdonalds.com).