Roughly 4,000 families are counting on receiving holiday meal packages from the Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry during the holiday season, pantry officials say.
But the Naperville-based organization recently learned its main source of holiday food funding has been cut, leaving it with a $15,000 shortfall to purchase holiday food for families in need.
"Our holiday sharing program covers more than just the holiday meal," Executive Director Charles P. McLimans said. "In addition to a turkey or ham and a complete holiday meal, including potatoes, vegetables, fruit, side dishes, and dessert, a family also leaves Loaves & Fishes with a full cart of groceries."
Loaves & Fishes is seeking to remedy the shortfall by collecting donations through a virtual holiday food drive on its website. Called the HOPE (Help Other People Eat) campaign, each $25 contribution sponsors a complete holiday meal and grocery shopping session.
Holiday groceries also can be brought to the facility. A complete list can be found at loaves-fishes.org/ways-to-give/holiday-food-drive/.
"Holiday meals are important to our clients," McLimans said. "No matter what tradition a family comes from, gathering around the table for a holiday meal is a universal symbol of hope and celebration.
"The holiday meals and additional groceries that Loaves & Fishes has traditionally provided uphold the dignity and hope our services offer all year during these special occasions."
Individual and corporate sponsorships also are available. Contact Megan Selck at (630) 355-3663, ext. 112, or Loaves & Fishes is at 1871 High Grove Lane, Naperville, and serves all qualified residents of Naperville and DuPage County. Learn more about getting help, making a donation, or volunteering at ">firstname.lastname@example.org;/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.loaves-fishes.org/[URL].