West Suburban Community Pantry honors Earth Day daily with sustainable practices

Every day is Earth Day at West Suburban Community Pantry, which maintains earth-friendly sustainable practices on a regular basis while providing food and household goods to nearly 1,000 families every week.

The organization recycles pounds of cardboard and plastic from the copious amounts of packaging that comes with acquiring and distributing food every week.

Food waste is composted through Organix, a recycler of organic material which is dedicated to creating a healthier future for communities it serves. The nonprofit also has been named a Gold Level Partner in the Illinois Food Scrap & Composting Coalition’s We Compost Recognition Program.

Instead of composting, some fruits and vegetables close to expiration are saved to help feed native animals in recovery. Over 400 pounds of food was donated to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in 2023. West Suburban Community Pantry also has begun donating food to Spizzirri Reptile Rescue and Rehab in Momence, Illinois.

“We understand how precious all resources are, and when it comes to food, everything we can do to extend the impact of food in our community is important to us,” said Sarah Corbin, director of communications and community engagement. “The fact that we can help animals in recovery is an added perk.”

“Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for everyone we serve, and paying attention to the well-being of the planet, and being good stewards of the resources we have only furthers that cause,” Corbin said.

Two hundred pounds of plastic film collected by West Suburban Community Pantry are headed for upcycling with the Des Plaines-based Clean Up-Give Back. Courtesy of West Suburban Community Pantry

Additionally, West Suburban Community Pantry has begun a plastic film recycling program with local nonprofit Clean Up-Give Back and has recycled 200 pounds of plastic in its first week. Once 1,000 pounds of plastic is recycled the organization can earn a Trex bench per year, which will be auctioned to purchase reusable bags for neighbors who get groceries through the market.

West Suburban Community Pantry increases access to nutritious foods through an in-person Woodridge-based market, online ordering, senior home delivery, and child nutrition programs in local school districts. It also offers support services — case management, connecting individuals and families to community and government assistance. Every day, it is moving closer to a vision of a community without hunger thanks to the generous support of the community and dedicated volunteers. Visit to learn more.

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