Community Ministry

Proviso Pantry

Sponsored by RFUMC, the Proviso Food Pantry is housed at Cosmopolitan Church in Melrose Park, and serves the 14 Proviso Township villages.  In 2014, the Pantry provided food to more than 5,600 families, consisting of 21,000+ 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 purchase additional items from the Depository at a significantly reduced cost compared to retail groceries.


St. Paul Lutheran Church, Melrose Park, purchases canned and packaged foods for us twice a year, using two $500 grants from a national Lutheran organization, in addition to their regular food drives.  We are blessed with other  donations during the calendar year: Melrose Park postal service’s annual drive, Walther Christian Academy, Proviso Math & Science Academy, Costco and Ultra Foods donations of bakery goods every week, and local businesses.

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.  In 2015, we received $2,500 as our portion of the funds raised.  The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Hunger Walk in June provides funds that go directly into our account at GCFD.

Volunteer for PADS

From October through May, RFUMC provides the dinner service for PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) to feed the homeless in our area at an overnight shelter.  We serve 50+ people on the third Sunday of the month.

Volunteer opportunities include planning and shopping for the dinner groceries, cooking the day of the meal, and/or serving at the shelter. The actual service hours are 6 p.m. to about 9:30 p.m. For more information, email Cindy Belle at or call the RFUMC office at 708 771-3668.

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