Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry Seeks Donations

Hundreds of families will receive special holiday dinners through the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry
Hundreds of families will receive special holiday dinners through the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry

Help Requested to Provide Turkey Dinners to Families in Need

The Maple Morgan Park Community Food Pantry is requesting the continued financial support of Beverly/Morgan Park and nearby communities. The annual holiday appeal asks for $15 donations that provide turkey dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although the Pantry receives food donations, a lot of what they distribute – including the turkeys – must be paid for. For a recent Thanksgiving distribution, the Pantry spent nearly $10,000 on 600 turkeys and other food items, including fresh foods, feeding families in the 60643 and 60655 zip codes.

“We can’t thank the community enough for the outstanding support we receive,” said Henry Vellinga, board member and volunteer.

The Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, now in its 33rd year, is run on volunteer effort and donations from the community. Although people feel the needs most acutely during the holidays, the pantry is busy all year around.

The Food Pantry is located in Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., and is open on Tuesdays, 12 to 2 p.m., to accept donations. Food distributions take place on Fridays.

Although holiday meals include some extras, according to Pantry Director Lillian Hennings the average Friday distribution aims at providing enough food for two to three days and includes 6 to 8 cans of fruits and vegetables, cereal, main meal canned items such as tuna, chicken and stews, bread, and, if available, fresh meat and fresh produce.

Hennings has met a lot people who are in need and a lot of people who are profoundly touched by the generosity of the people and organizations that fund this very local ministry. “There’s more to it than hunger, more than food,” Hennings said. “It’s about caring for people.”

The Maple Morgan Park Community Food Pantry needs donations of money and dry goods – pancake mix, cereal, macaroni and cheese. In addition to food purchases, donations help to fund equipment such as freezers and shelving, and other da- to-day needs.

For each turkey dinner, send $15 or more payable to the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago, IL 60643-4102. For information, call 773-239-3013. Holiday greeting cards indicating that a turkey dinner has been donated to a needy family in the name of the card recipient are available upon request.

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