Levy Restaurants donates Sears Centre food stock to local pantries
Levy Restaurants, the food vendor for Hoffman Estates' Sears Centre Arena, has donated about $50,000 of stock delivered there before the coronavirus shutdown to the Hanover Township and Schaumburg Township food pantries.
"We're so happy to be getting that," Hanover Township's Director of Human Services Mary Jo Imperato said. "Demand is definitely up. People who were working aren't working."
Schaumburg Township Director of Welfare Services Dannette Zanoni agreed.
"We need support now more than ever and are so appreciative of the food contributions from the Sears Centre," she said. "As we prepare for an increase in the number of residents seeking assistance, it's imperative that we collaborate with our community partners to ensure that our food pantries can continue to serve those in need."
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, both the Hanover Township Food Pantry at 7431 Astor Ave. in Hanover Park and Schaumburg Township Food Pantry at 1 Illinois Blvd. in Hoffman Estates are operating a little differently than normal.
Among the most significant temporary changes in Hanover Township is that pantry users need only demonstrate that they're township residents, rather than having to prove need.
The pantry is offering curbside pickup to keep the general public out of the building. People may call ahead to place an order or will be greeted at the entrance with a list of items available. Township staff will then carry orders out to vehicles.
The Schaumburg Township Food Pantry is remaining open under a modified drive-through capacity. Clients should call to schedule a drive-through appointment with the pantry at (847) 884-0030, though emergency pre-packed bags also will be available.
Imperato believes the Levy donation might last about a week under the current demand. Much of the fare is what one would expect to see at an arena, including chicken, curly fries, cod fillets and -- filling a needed shortage of snacks at the pantry -- cookies.
"This is huge to us. We need every one of those things," Imperato said. "I think it's going to be a lot of food."
The donation from Levy to the local food pantries was coordinated by the village of Hoffman Estates, which owns the Sears Centre. Though the arena is just outside Hanover Township, much of the western end of the village is in the township, Mayor Bill McLeod said.
The village has a close relationship with Hanover Township and its food pantry, he added.
"They're saints, in my mind," McLeod said.
Imperato said the only items she had to turn down were things like canola oil and ranch dressing that came in 3- or 4-gallon containers that were unable to be broken down into smaller increments. But she did accept some fryer oil that came in more manageable containers.
The Hanover Township pantry is open on Monday from 1 to 3 p.m., Tuesday from 1 to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, call (630) 540-9085 or visit hanover-township.org.
The Schaumburg Township pantry will continue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Homebound residents should contact any of the township's departments regarding food assistance at (847) 884-0030 or visit schaumburgtownship.org.
Representatives of Levy Restaurants could not be reached for comment.