Hi this is Leslie Harris, and I live in Downers Grove. Recently, I have discovered two food pantries, not far from my home.

The first one is FISH. (they have other locations too) I have known about FISH for years, but I never knew that it was right across the street from Downers North High School. I feel a little foolish not knowing how easy and convenient it is for me to drop off much-needed blankets, clothing and food, so I have now been there twice. They’re at 4340 Prince Street, and are open for drop off between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Mondays and Fridays. If you need any services that they provide, you can find more HERE

Recently, St Andrew’s Church at 1125 Franklin Street in Downers Grove, installed a Little Free Pantry near the exit of their parking lot. This is like a Little Free Library. It’s a box that is about 2 feet tall by about a foot and a half wide, with doors on it. You open the door and leave supplies, or if you need anything, you can go there and take whatever you need, anytime of the day or night. I think this is a great idea, as some people won’t go to a food pantry out of pride or embarrassment, but they can go to the Little Free Pantry anytime of the day or night without being embarrassed.

Sunday night, at about 6:30 in the evening when the weather was cold and snowing, I happened to go past the Little Free Pantry and noticed that it’s shelves were pretty bare. I went to a dollar store and picked up several rolls of toilet paper, some multipacks of toothbrushes, and some toothpaste. (all items that have been requested by the people who run the pantry) I also got some cans of meat, some long shelf-life cheese, some peanuts, a few hats and pairs of swarm socks.

Donating money is always a good and welcome gesture for these pantries, but this seems more meaningful to me, plus the supplies can get to the people who need them more easily. I know that when I physically buy some food, and then I take the food to the pantry, it’s more tangible for me.

Either way, it’s important that we remember our neighbors who are less fortunate, especially at this time of year, with the holidays coming up, and the weather growing colder.

Have you been to a food pantry? Where are some other places where people can drop off food, or if they need some assistance, get food for themselves and their families? Put your suggestions into the Facebook comments, so we can spread the word!

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