Food drive for Palatine Township Food Pantry aims to fill the gap for families in need
The Palatine Knights of Columbus are holding a food and fundraising drive this weekend to benefit the Palatine Township Food Pantry.
About 25 volunteers from the group will staff the "Leave No Neighbor Behind" drive 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, in the parking lot behind St. Thomas of Villanova, 1201 Anderson Drive. Volunteers will wear face masks and do "touchless" pickup of donations from cars.
For a list of items needed by the pantry, visit palatinetownship-il.gov/programs-assistance/food-pantry.
Monetary donations -- including cash, check and credit card -- also will be accepted Saturday. Checks should be made payable to Palatine Township Needy Family Fund or PTMFF.
"Many of our neighbors who were employed before the pandemic now find themselves laid off, unemployed or working from home, and many with substantially reduced hours," said Fred Cimaglio, past Grand Knight of the Palatine Knights of Columbus. "Often that means hardworking people need some help filling the gap between income and household expenses."
Generosity is a form of charity, which is a key aspect of the Knights of Columbus principles, Cimaglio said. "It's our mission to serve our community. It's our mission, in addition to our faith, to help people."
The Palatine Knights of Columbus did a similar drive for the food pantry in August, in 90-plus degree heat, that collected more than 3,000 pounds of donations plus $3,800.
The group has been the food pantry's second-largest donor, after the Rolling Meadows Police Department, said food pantry coordinator Jared Worster. The pantry has served an average 345 families each month over the past year.
Worster said the COVID-19 pandemic caused an early increase in clients that has since leveled off, thanks in part to the abundance of food pantries in the area. The pantry served 314 families last month, down from 354 in February 2020 and 387 in March 2020, he said.
The Palatine Township Food Pantry is open Mondays from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 721 S. Quentin Road, Palatine.
It provides assistance to anyone who lives in the township, which includes all or parts of Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Inverness, Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington and Schaumburg. The borders are Wilke Road to the east, Huntington Road to the west, Lake-Cook Road to the north, and Central Road to the south.