With clients in need of services and food prices on the rise, the staff at the West Suburban Community Pantry says community contributions are critical.
“We’re in the middle of a perfect storm,” Sue Armato, CEO of West Suburban Community Pantry. “At the pantry now we have three times the number of households coming to us each week. Last year at the same time we had 250 households coming here. Last week we had 726 households.”
State of the Pantry
Volunteers and staff addressed the growing needs of the Woodbridge-based pantry at its recent “State of the Pantry” event on October 26.
“We’re paying seven times as much as we had in the past,” said Armato. “That’s part of why we wanted you to come here tonight. We wanted you to understand the struggle that we’re in and ask you to continue to be engaged and get re-engaged.”
The pantry recently adopted several initiatives to help widen the spectrum of people in the community who are able to use their services.
“Initiatives that we’ve put in place to help support these customers include increasing the diversity of food that’s available to meet ethnic, cultural or dietary restrictions,” said Board Chair Kevin Delano. “We’ve partnered with places like DoorDash to allow delivery, and there’s a virtual pantry to meet our customers where they are.”
West Suburban’s Priority
Ahead of the holiday season, West Suburban Community Pantry organizers want to make sure they have the resources to continue serving the local community.
“Our top priority will always be physically putting food on the table, helping feed those families and alleviating hunger with your support and the support of the community. With the people we have here, we feel confident we can truly have a meaningful impact on all of our communities and the people that we serve.”
Naperville News 17’s Will Payne reports.
If you have a story idea, we want to hear from you!