Last summer, motivated by a difficult news climate and the desire to take concrete action, my office launched its first ever food drive benefiting Common Pantry. In times of frustration or uncertainty, it is often most helpful to focus locally, and find ways to make a difference in your own community. That is exactly what we did, and with massive success. Last year we collected 400 pounds of food and raised over $1,000, which was enough to provide over 4,000 meals.
This July we hope to build upon last year’s success by hosting our second annual food drive in partnership with the office of Senate President John Cullerton.
Though we don’t always see it, hunger remains a persistent problem in the United States, in the city of Chicago, and in our own neighborhood. According to Feeding America, a national organization of food banks, there are approximately 12 million children and 7 million seniors who receive food assistance annually in the U.S. right here in Chicago, 1 in 6 of our neighbors – that’s approximately 812,100 people – receive food from a food pantry or soup kitchen affiliated with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Right here in our own backyard, food insecurity remains a major issue. Within the 11th District, 10% of residents struggled with food insecurity in 2017 – that means almost 12,000 of our neighbors don’t have enough to eat.
Common Pantry is our neighborhood food pantry working to fight hunger and food insecurity on the north side of Chicago. Founded in 1967, Common Pantry hosts weekly food distributions, home delivery to elderly clients, a hot lunch program and a monthly Produce Day. They also help combat the root causes of food insecurity by providing services that help people work through benefit applications and the job search process while also being a resource on housing issues.
I hope you will join me in combating food insecurity in our community by participating in our Summer Food Drive this July – whether it be donating food or personal items to our drive, joining us in volunteering at the Common Pantry or contributing monetary donations online to the Pantry.
Please see the fliers below for more information on the types of food and personal items we will be collecting and where you can drop them off. If you are interested in collecting donations from your friends, neighbors, or at your office, please refer to the list of needed items below and feel free to drop them off at my district office or any of the other drop-off locations.
If you have any questions about the food drive or want get involved, please give my office a call. Together, we can make a difference for our neighbors in need this summer.
Link to Donate Online: https://www.facebook.com/donate/808167516232537/
Common Pantry Wish List
Easy prep meals such as Hamburger Helper
Ketchup, mustard, and mayo
Feminine hygiene products