Walking around the beautiful streets of our quaint Glen Ellyn village, you would never think that many of our friends, neighbors and families are fighting hunger. Hunger is not easily seen but felt by many. A student in your child’s class may not have had dinner last night or breakfast this morning. Your neighbor may have faced the loss of a job and need a little help until they are employed again, or they may be under employed and need some assistance to make ends meet. A person you pass on Main Street may have incurred large medical expenses or have experienced a divorce or death. Senior citizens who are on fixed incomes, people struck by illness, and the disabled are also individuals who may be “food insecure” in our area. More than 407,000 people in DuPage county report that are unable to provide an adequate food for themselves or their family. About 1 and 5 of those are children.
Thankfully, there is relief and support for our friends and neighbors in need at the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry. The Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, located in Grace Lutheran Church, is a partnership of Glen Ellyn churches who cooperate in providing food and volunteers to serve people in need who reside in Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Lombard, Carol Stream, Lisle, and Glendale Heights. This local agency is not a “soup kitchen” and does not just serve the homeless like many in our area have come to believe. It is operated by nine staff members and hundreds of volunteers. Whether stocking shelves, making trips to local food recovery stores, helping individuals shop or bagging up groceries, volunteers of all ages make this agency strong. It is a place of security and warmth for those who need supplemental food support because they are “food insecure”. Currently, the Pantry serves about 600 local families every month (around 2000 individuals).
So what can YOU do to help the hunger crisis that surrounds you? The food pantry is ALWAYS looking for donations of non-perishable food items, brown paper bags to pack groceries for clients, financial contributions and, of course, your personal time and talents. Organize a food drive, clean out your cabinets or pick up an extra item or two when doing your own grocery shopping and bring donations to the Food Pantry during operating hours. Also, personal items such as diapers, paper towels, shampoo and toilet paper are not covered under federal assistance programs and therefore are ALWAYS appreciated. Visit www.glenellynfoodpantry.org for more information about how you can help.
Financial support is the key ingredient to the recipe for success of the food pantry! Last year the generous people, businesses and organizations of Glen Ellyn and surrounding communities helped our Food Pantry distribute 60,000 bags of food … which is $2.5 million worth of groceries … to our neighbors in need. Simply put, the Food Pantry could not do what they do without your support!
So as you plan your daily meals and look at your full cabinets, we challenge you to think of ways YOU can help those that are hungry around you. Remember they are in your child’s class, your neighbors and walking down the streets everyday…even in Glen Ellyn!
Be GRATEFUL and GIVE BACK!