For more than 30 years, Mount Prospect has provided meals to families in need for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
This year, the village's food pantry is dangerously low on food items, and the village is asking residents to pitch in as much as they can.
The Holiday Meal Basket program serves about 120 families during each holiday -- Thanksgiving and Christmas. The program provides these families with the food they need to enjoy a special holiday meal.
"In addition to that, we usually have about 80 families on a waiting list each year," village spokeswoman Maura El Metennani said. "It's an important program."
The food pantry also provides general emergency assistance to residents in need throughout the year.
To make donating easy, the Mount Prospect Fire Department will sponsor a food drive on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Randhurst Village in the parking lots near the Jewel and Costco stores. Fire department vehicles and personnel will be there from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. collecting nonperishable food donations, all of which will go to the village food pantry. Randhurst Village is located at the intersection of Rand and Elmhurst roads.
After the food drive, the fire department will accept food pantry donations at three fire stations through Nov. 17. The participating stations are located at 1601 W. Golf Road, 112 E. Northwest Hwy. and 2000 E. Kensington Road.
Local restaurant Le Peep Cafe is giving residents another chance to help. Through Nov. 9, the restaurant will deduct $1 off a customer's check for each nonperishable food item the customer brings in for the pantry (up to $10 per check, per visit). Then, on Nov. 9, the restaurant will donate 15 percent of a customer's check to the pantry if the customer mentions it during his or her visit. Le Peep is located at 10 E. Northwest Highway.
Donations will also be accepted at village hall, 50 S. Emerson St.
Among the items needed are frozen turkeys, canned hams, canned beef stew, canned ravioli and spaghetti, coffee/tea, cookies, crackers, instant potatoes, pancake mix, rice and stuffing mix. A full list can be found on the village's website, mountprospect.org.
In order to make it in time for the Holiday Meal Basket program, nonperishable food items must be donated by Nov. 14. Frozen turkeys and canned hams can be delivered as late as Nov. 19.
For information, go to the website or call the Mount Prospect Human Services Department at (847) 870-5680.