By Kristin Boza
Now, more than ever, the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., needs the neighborhood’s help. Even before the threat of Covid-19 in our community, the food pantry saw an uptick in families requiring food assistance, after fires devastated food pantries in the Roseland community and additional nearby food pantries closed.
“We now have been serving more than 1,500 families requesting food. This substantial increase began before the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Karen Overstreet, executive director of the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry. “We have instituted various policies to keep our volunteers and needful families safe from the spread of Covid-19, including pre-packaging food bags and delivering them straight to the food pantry visitor’s waiting car.”
To help serve area families, Overstreet is requesting monetary donations to the pantry, payable by check made out to Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry and mailed to: Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago, IL 60643-4012.
While direct donations of food are appreciated and welcomed, Overstreet said that their purchasing power will go much further than what individuals can contribute.
“We purchase food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository at bulk rates, so we can get more for our money that way,” Overstreet said.
Donations of dry good are accepted to be dropped off during the food pantry’s regular hours. Canned goods are not needed at this time; however, dry goods like cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix and pasta are welcome, as is fresh meat in its original packaging.
“It is enormously fulfilling to observe how the Beverly/Morgan Park residents have graciously stepped up to our call to action,” Overstreet said. “We can’t do what we do without continued support from our neighbors.”
The Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry operates on Tues. and Fri., 1 to 3 p.m. Needful families can arrive during those times, or call 773-239-3013 for more information.