Elk Grove Township rallies community support for food pantry

Elk Grove Township has seen a continuous spike in the use of its food pantry over the last year. In November, the pantry provided food for 883 households, a 43% increase compared to the previous year.

To address the growing need, the township has been hosting an increasing number of annual events aimed at keeping the pantry shelves fully stocked and able to meet the surging demand.

The next event to support the Pantry will be the “Soup-er Bowl,” a canned soups and broth collection drive that kicked off Jan. 1 and runs through Friday, Feb. 1 - the week of the Super Bowl.

On the night of Friday, Oct. 13, Elk Grove and Rolling Meadows high schools competed on the football field, and in the annual “Cereal Bowl,” where the two schools went head-to-head to collect cereal boxes to be donated to the food pantry. Students, their families, and community members were invited to donate to the school of their choice until the end of the football game. Elk Grove High School took home the trophy this year, but together, the schools collected more than 3,000 boxes of cereal – which was a win for all!

Leading up to Thanksgiving this year, the township’s food pantry and social services department staff members teamed up for the Thanksgiving donation drive, to ensure every household that shopped at the pantry received a special Thanksgiving basket.

Due to the extremely generous monetary donations from the community, the township was able to reach their 12,000 goal and 814 families each received a basket that included a choice of meat, along with stuffing mix, gravy, plates, and other holiday meal fixings. The township is extremely grateful for the community’s support of this donation drive, and provides a special acknowledgment to Forest Packing, who donated the boxes that the Thanksgiving Baskets were packaged in.

The next community-wide donation campaign is the "Soup-er" Bowl, which begins Monday, Jan. 1, and ends on Friday, Feb. 16. Donations of soups or broth can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the township offices, 600 Landmeier Road in Elk Grove Village, 60007; packages from Amazon, FedEx or USPS will also be accepted.

If you would like to receive a thank you letter, please include your name and address within the package. For individuals or groups who would like to make larger donations, the township can schedule a pick-up time for convenience. Monetary donations are also welcome and accepted to fill the gap between donations and higher demand items. Checks can be made payable to: “Elk Grove Township Food Pantry” and dropped off/mailed to the township offices.

“The township is thrilled to be finding creative solutions to ensure we can assist as many residents experiencing food scarcity as possible, as needs in our community continue to grow,” said Elk Grove Township Supervisor George Busse. “We are very thankful for the generous individuals, businesses, organizations, churches and other groups who have been strong supporters of these efforts.”

Due to the increase in clients utilizing the food pantry, there is also a need for additional volunteers to organize and stock the shelves, as well as check clients in and out. Shifts are three hours long and require volunteers to stand for a substantial amount of time. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and be able to lift between 15-20 pounds.

For more information, or for questions about the Township Food Pantry, call (224) 265-6111.

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