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posted: 7/17/2013 1:09 PM

LCC Food Pantry fights hunger, helps neighbors in need

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  • Food pantry volunteers sort and date and check all donated nonperishable food before it is stored. Every Tuesday morning, fresh produce and bakery items from local stores are quality checked and distributed with bagged groceries.

      Food pantry volunteers sort and date and check all donated nonperishable food before it is stored. Every Tuesday morning, fresh produce and bakery items from local stores are quality checked and distributed with bagged groceries.
    Courtesy of Marianne Houle

  • Several times a month staples are purchased at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and stored in the church's Fellowship Hall.

      Several times a month staples are purchased at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and stored in the church's Fellowship Hall.
    Courtesy of Marianne Houle

  • Friends and members of the Lutheran Church of the Cross gather in the church parking lot before heading to Soldier Field for the annual Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk. This year, 56 enthusiastic supporters walked the walk.

      Friends and members of the Lutheran Church of the Cross gather in the church parking lot before heading to Soldier Field for the annual Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk. This year, 56 enthusiastic supporters walked the walk.
    Courtesy of Marianne Houle

 
Submitted by Lutheran Church of the Cross Food Pantry

Serving the communities of Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect and Rolling Meadows for 37 years, the Lutheran Church of the Cross Food Pantry's mission is to: Improve the health and quality of life of impoverished families and the homeless by providing a variety of nutritious groceries year-round until there is no longer a need for its services.

Even prosperous suburbs have a significant number of persons who do not know where their next meal will come from. Many of these persons are from the most vulnerable populations -- children, seniors, persons with disabilities and the homeless. Each year the need increases. In 2006, an average of 40 families per week were served by the pantry, in 2012, a total of 4,561 bags of food was handed out, serving 88 families weekly.

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One hundred percent of all monetary donations go to purchase food. Funds needed for truck rental, gasoline, postage and printing are raised by the Lutheran Church of the Cross Food Pantry at special events, including game nights and a yearly rummage sale.

All the pantry workers are volunteers. From the director to the accounting staff to the record keepers, to the weekly volunteers -- all time and talent is donated. There is no paid staff. Many of the workers have volunteered their time for over 10 years. Interest in the work of the food pantry has spread throughout the communities and currently there are volunteers from Catholic and Protestant churches, five Mormon missionaries and neighbors without religious affiliation, giving of their time. Additionally, an Eagle Scout garden helps supply fresh produce in the summer and fall and some of the food recipients volunteer at the pantry to help serve others in need.

Lutheran Church of the Cross is indebted to the community for the volunteers and the food it provides. In addition to these gifts, the Lutheran Church of the Cross Food Pantry needs to raise another $36,000 per year to purchase additional food and $4,000 for expenses such as truck rentals and gasoline. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.

Donations can be mailed to: Lutheran Church of the Cross Food Pantry, 2025 Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, Il 60005. Mark the memo line on your donation: Hunger Walk, LCC, AO1198 and send by July 29, so the pantry can receive credit toward its participation total for this year's Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk, which was held on June 29. Donations can also be made online at www.chicagosfoodbank.org/hungerwalk. The food pantry is a Certified Agency of the Greater Chicago Food Depository and tax exempt (501 (c) (3) organization.

The Lutheran Church of the Cross Food Pantry, 2025 Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, is open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. For information, visit www.haregoldslove.org, email office@sharegodslove.org or call (847) 437-5141.

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