CCW Friends Feeding the Community

Beyond Hunger

Formerly known as the Oak Park and River Forest Food Pantry

Hunger never takes a holiday! “We are here for those who are hungry” is the slogan of Beyond Hunger. In its effort to provide hunger relief, this group provided nutritious groceries, produce, meat and dairy products to 15,873 local families last year. Each month volunteers donate over 1,400 hours of labor helping to feed their hungry neighbors.

St. Giles CCW has pledged to provide 5 volunteers to assist the first Saturday of each month from 8:30 am to 10:45 am on the first shift at their bi-weekly food pantry.  For the Holiday months, the shift hours are extended to 11:30 am. Because of the Corona virus, our duties have changed for the safety of the clients as well as the volunteers.  Even though we are still classified as Shopping Assistants, clients remain in their cars while the valets load 2 pre-packed boxes of food items containing a sampling from all the various food stations.  There is no interfacing directly with the clients.  Our job now entails gathering food items from the various stations, bagging them and packing them in the large boxes.  It is a bit more physical but the time goes quickly.

As a reminder, this is what has changed since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • All volunteers and staff must wash their hands and wear gloves (provided) upon entering the pantry.
  • All volunteers and staff must wear face masks (bring your own or use our supply).
  • All Volunteers and staff will receive a quick health check, including a temperature reading, upon entering the pantry.
  • We practice 6 ft. social distancing and 10 person maximum to a room.
  • We sanitize all surfaces, handles, faucets, etc. before shifts begin and throughout the day. We also sanitize when we leave for the day.
  • We have hired more staff to facilitate all the new changes.
  • Our #1 Priority, is it to keep our volunteers, clients and staff safe and well.

St. Giles youth are invited to participate as “valets” to carry groceries out to the parking lot for clients. This effort, in addition to a great feeling, also earns service hours!

The Food Pantry is located at the lower level of the First United Church, 848 Lake Street, Oak Park. The Food Pantry provides hunger relief, counseling and nutritional counseling to families from 28 zip codes in Cook County.

CCW volunteers are sent monthly reminders.  The first 5 to respond will represent St. Giles that month.  Come, help feed our community and spend quality time with fellow CCW members.

Want to volunteer or have any questions? – Contact Sharon Bresnahan at sbresnahan@stgilesparish.org or 708-383-3430 x 420 with any questions.