Sponsored by RFUMC, the Proviso Food Pantry is housed at Cosmopolitan Church in Melrose Park, and serves the 14 Proviso Township villages. In 2021, the Pantry provided food to more than 3,100 families, consisting of 12,000+ individuals. A dedicated group of volunteers keeps this mission going every week.
The pantry receives a monthly no-cost allocation of canned, packaged, frozen and fresh items from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. In addition, we use funds donated by various organizations and individuals to order additional items from the Depository, or at retail.
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Melrose Park, hosts food drives several times annually. Several of their members are dedicated volunteers. We have been blessed with other donations during the calendar year: local businesses who host food drives, and Walther Christian Academy’s annual food collection; in 2021, more than 2,000 items!
CROP Walk, GCFD Hunger Walk
Each year, we have two opportunities to “walk” and raise funds for the pantry. The annual Hunger Walkathon West CROP Walk in May offers the opportunity to sponsor a walker, or to walk. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 walks were cancelled, with agencies encouraged to continue to raise funds, host small group or virtual walks. In 2021, we beat our previous years and received $7,958 as our portion of the funds raised. When revived, the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Hunger Walk in June will provide funds that go directly into our account at GCFD.
Holiday Gift Baskets
Since the mid-80’s, members of our congregation have bought holiday gifts and contributed money to the Community of Congregations in Oak Park. Individuals choose a name provided by the organization; and using “wish” lists, they purchase and wrap those gifts for distribution before Christmas. COVID revised the program to gift cards only for 2020, but in 2021, we delivered gifts for 34 individuals from 12 families