Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Year, new challenges, new thanks

Student volunteers interact with food pantry clients
With January winding down, the SLCC Food Pantry is thankful for how far we’ve come in a relatively short time. This March will mark the pantry’s first-year anniversary. The pantry serves those in need, in the South Loop with nourishing food, every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. When we took on the challenge of serving the community on a weekly basis, we weren’t sure how we were going to do it. We had a limited budget and few volunteers.

Sandwiches and salads donated by Pret A Manger
We took a leap of faith. We survived that first week, and the next, and the next. More people started to volunteer. People and organizations started donating food and money. Students from area high schools and colleges started asking if they could volunteer. Businesses like Pret A Manger, Panera Bread, and Dunkin’ Donuts provided us with day-old food items. Local community organization, Greater South Loop Association provided us with funds to purchase turkeys and hams for distribution during the holidays. Local business, Overflow Coffee Bar donated a percentage of their sales to the pantry. Overflow’s biggest contribution, however, was acting as a food drop-off locations. Patrons of Overflow have donated pounds of food almost ever week for months, which has been an enormous help and encouragement. We even had a visit from local food truck entrepreneur, GiGi’s Bake Shop!

Bags of food and volunteers at the ready
As we get closer to our anniversary date, we’re looking to expand our outreach by offering clothing (a need for some of our clients) along with food. More about this in the future.

The South Loop Community Church Food Pantry wants to give a big “thank you” to our friends and neighbors for helping us along the way!

To find out how you can help, please click on the “Donation and Volunteer Opportunities” tab above.