A community effort involving businesses, residents and volunteers made a recent donation to the West Chicago Neighborhood Food Pantry possible. The money, which was raised at the City of West Chicago’s Frosty Fest event through participant donations for a cookie decorating activity at the Fox Community Center, was matched by State Bank of Illinois and presented to Nancy Andrews, Assistant Site Coordinator of the Food Pantry, located behind Real Life Church at 525 N. Neltnor Blvd. in West Chicago.
Frosty Fest committee volunteers Stacey Gallagher, Senior Vice President with State Bank of Illinois, and West Chicago resident Anna Rosalez have spearheaded the kid-friendly activity since its inception four years ago. Since then, the amount of cookies, and donations, has grown.
“There are so many generous people who helped make this donation possible,” said City of West Chicago Marketing Assistant and Frosty Fest chairperson Krista Coltrin. “Parra’s Bakery, located at 572 Main Street, donated plain sugar cookies for the children to decorate. Additional cookies, along with sparkling, colorful confections, were supplied by State Bank of Illinois, located at 600 E. Washington Street. Participating families supported the activity through their good-will donations, sometimes giving more than the suggested $1 donation. State Bank of Illinois matched what we collected which doubled the donation we were able to make to help feed the hungry in our community”. Coltrin and Gallagher presented the checks which amounted to a total of $419.80.
According to Ken Walker, Site Coordinator for the Neighborhood Food Pantry, approximately 560 families visit the site monthly. This equates to 4,000 people, of which 2,500 are children. Monetary donations like the ones from Frosty Fest are used by the Food Pantry to purchase food from the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Donations of money are especially helpful because the Food Pantry is able to leverage eight times the purchase power through the Food Bank.
Andrews explained non-edible donations of paper goods, toiletries and baby needs like diapers and wipes are also needed for those hit hardest by the current economy. These items are in high demand at the Food Pantry as persons are unable to use food stamps to purchase them at retail stores. The Food Pantry is able to purchase these items from the Food Bank at a great savings through monetary donations.
Anyone interested in volunteering or making a donation can contact Andrews at (630) 605-0887 or can visit the facility. Volunteer hours are flexible based on availability and areas of interest.