Feeding The Needy

Feeding the needy – Hoffman Estates Review [08-31-06]

Holy Innocents’ supplemental food pantry was recently featured in a local neighborhood paper:

A new harvest moon is on the horizon, we’re told to watch the heavens for a rare sighting of Mars, and the new cycle begins anew as we see the death of another summer. It’s time to dry the swim suit, put away the flip flops and purchase the new duds for the school year (at least for the fortunate).

Some of us actually anticipate the comfortable routine, family meals, and a warm soft bed to sleep in every night. This is not the scene in many families, possibly our neighbors .

However, there is a rainbow for these needy, painted by selfless people from Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Hoffman Estates, where they have implemented a supplemental food program recently.

Ginny Gibbs says this program is small, but growing quickly through word of mouth. The program targets particular scenarios so that donors can better meet the needs for these specific groups. There are no qualifications or questions asked in order to receive the needed food available. As of Aug. 15, Ginny said five families have been fed for two weeks, without proof of need. The next distribution is scheduled Sept. 19 at the church, 425 Illinois Blvd.; however, they will accept calls in the interim. Hopefully,
no one is left unfed.

This unique program has been streamlined for easier distribution. Gibbs, a member of the Bishop’s Committee, explains the workings thus: Members of the church hang grocery bags on neighborhood doors with an explanation of the program, and how to fill the bags for pick up the following week. After pick up, they are brought to the church, where they are ready to be distributed to anyone in immediate need.

Here are some easy steps to follow. Donors are asked to think in terms of “A family with 2 small children with access to cooking facilities,” “2 seniors with a kitchen” or “A person living in a car” when filling the bags. The bags are to be labeled as to which category it meets. This helps people in purchasing cans, boxes, jars with easy open lids, and disposable items easy to clean. It also helps to visualize what a certain age, group or individual would or could eat. This pre-planning is helpful to the distributor
as well as receiver.

The third Tuesday of each month the church is open from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for distribution during general church meetings, but calls will be accepted anytime. Colleen Muehl is the coordinator of the Bishop’s Committee, and works under the new vicar, Stephan Martz.

Holy Innocents has recently joined forces with another Elk Grove Episcopal church piloting this new and growing program. Because of some new changes, Ginny asked to inform their members and neighbors of a new 9 a.m. service schedule.

For information, call (847) 885-7900.

This is just one new, convenient food center, but don’t forget to feed your local area pantries during these busy “back to normal” days. We seem to forget others’ needs when we ourselves become so busy with our own needs.

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