Elk Grove Twp. food pantry adjusts to meet clients' needs
In 2020, Elk Grove Township implemented a "client choice" model for their food pantry, allowing individuals to choose items that they prefer rather than those that were previously prepackaged.
This new model provided insight for township officials regarding a higher demand among food pantry users, especially those with households that include four or more individuals. Beginning in March, these households will now be able to visit the food pantry twice per month. Previously, families could visit once per month.
During 2020, the food pantry served an average of 326 families per month, compared to an average of 230 families per month in 2019. This represents a more than 40% increase in the average number of families in need who were served.
"I am proud of the evolution of the township food pantry due to the changing needs of our residents," said Elk Grove Township Supervisor Mike Sweeney. "We are working hard to meet the growing needs of community members through these challenging times."
All food pantry users are required to make an appointment due to safety guidelines related to the pandemic. This helps to avoid residents waiting in lines and limits the number of people in the food pantry at any given time. Additionally, shoppers are required to wear face covers and apply hand sanitizer (provided by the township) before entering the food pantry.
Those who wish to take advantage of the food pantry are issued cards, which expire every six months and are utilized for "check in" upon arrival. If a resident needs a food pantry card or their current card has expired, they can contact township staff when calling to schedule an appointment.
If residents are applying for the first time to utilize the food pantry, they are required to bring a photo ID, current utility bill and proof of all members in their household.
In order to keep the food pantry stocked, Elk Grove Township has again partnered with Meijer's hunger relief efforts through the Simply Give program.
A fourth campaign recently launched to help feed hungry families. The campaign will run through Saturday, April 10. During this time, shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase donation gift cards at the checkout register that will directly benefit the Elk Grove Township Food Pantry.
The Elk Grove Township Food Pantry is fortunate to have another partner in the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which has been a stable and continuous provider of food products. The depository has been able to provide a variety of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese and other dairy products, in addition to nonperishable items.
To keep up with the increased demand, Elk Grove Township has also extended its food pantry hours. Clients can now schedule appointments Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m.
For information about the food pantry, call (224) 265-6111.
For those interested in making donations, they are accepted at the west entrance, by the Tonne Road stoplight, during normal business hours from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday at Elk Grove Township, 600 Landmeier Road, Elk Grove Village.
For information, visit elkgrovetownship.com.
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