So much goes on during the summer, with people vacationing and parents running the kids around to activities, nonprofits see a decline in donations as people direct their energy elsewhere.
At the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, donations definitely drop during summer, but though things are a little sparser at the pantry, the organization is always prepared to help those in need, according to an official with the nonprofit.
Wednesday, locals have a way to give back to the organization while enjoying a meal at their favorite restaurant. Diners can “Take a Bite Out of Hunger” while eating at participating restaurants,which will donate 10 percent of their receipts Wednesday to the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry.
The food pantry is located within Grace Lutheran Church and serves residents in Glen Ellyn and every neighboring community, including Lombard, Wheaton, Lisle, Carol Stream and Glendale Heights, said Susan Papierski, the food pantry’s executive director.
The food pantry serves more than 350 families or roughly 1,200 to 1,500 people a month, she said. It operates on an appointment basis.
Unlike some food pantries that have specific items clients must choose from, at the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry clients get to choose what items they want, she said.
“It doesn’t do us any good to give them items they don’t like,” Papierski said. “It’s a good shopping experience for them.”
The nonprofit relies on its volunteers to keep things going, and it has about 200 people who give their time at the food pantry, she said. The work they do varies, from shopping for items at discount stores such as Aldi to packing bags for clients.
Local gardeners have also helped the nonprofit, providing fresh vegetables to the pantry, she said. The fresh food is greatly appreciated by clients who cannot always afford fresh produce.
The Glen Ellyn Food Pantry purchases items from the Northern Illinois Food Bank and has partnerships with local retail stores, which donate items that might otherwise be thrown out, Papierski said.
Items always in demand include baking mixes, crackers, sugar, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese. Coffee is a luxury item most people in need can’t afford, but like, so donations are always gladly accepted, Papierski said.
The nonprofit partnered with 12 restaurants for its second annual "Take a Bite Out of Hunger" event. Restaurants participating include: Barone's, Cab's Wine Bar Bistro, Dairy Queen (Main St.), Flour + Wine, Giordano's, Glen Oak, Honey, Marinella, North Side, Shannon's, Tap House Grill, and Thipi Thai.
Learn more about the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry.