West Suburban Community Pantry reopens for in-person shopping

WOODRIDGE, IL – After being closed for more than a month due to a spike in cases of coronavirus associated with the omicron variant, the West Suburban Community Pantry site in Woodridge is open again to provide food for those who need it.

The pantry reopened on Saturday for local residents who can once again visit the pantry to select fresh produce, meat and fish, dry goods, baked goods and household items. In addition to what the pantry has provided in the past, the site now offers items for school and adult lunches.

The food pantry was offering curbside pickup while it was closed due to the omicron outbreak, officials said. This proved difficult, especially in bad weather, which made it difficult for residents to get to the pantry to pick up what they needed. But now, with the Pantry’s move to Woodridge at 6805 Hobson Valley Dr., Pantry managers are eager to once again offer residents a full range of services.

“We always prefer our neighbors to buy from the store themselves if it’s safe to do so,” said Laura Coyle, executive director of Pantry. “We believe that shopping for food in a pantry should be a dignified experience that comes as close as possible to shopping for food in a grocery store. We always aim for the most fulfilling and safest experience we can offer. “

The pantry will continue to adhere to local and state guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety measures, officials said. Saturday’s reopening is based on the recent decrease in reported COVID cases and the number of hospitalizations in DuPage County, officials said.

The pause in in-store shopping has led to a steady increase in customers signing up to use the pantry’s recently launched Virtual Food Pantry, www.virtualfoodpantry.net, which offers online ordering and pickup at the most convenient time and place for the customer. .

The food pantry has focused its efforts over the past two years on ways to increase access, choice and dignity in the provision of food, officials said in a press release. The recently renovated pantry also continues to expand its offering of ethnic and dietary choices.

West Suburban Community Pantry provides food and resources to those facing hunger, unlocking access to nutritious meals and building hope for tomorrow.

The 30-year-old pantry offers Woodridge On-Site Pantry, Virtual Pantry, and a Senior Home Delivery Program to households in need in DuPage, Bolingbrook, and Romeoville County. .

The pantry also runs child nutrition programs in local school districts and connects families with financial aid and free workshops. More information and pantry opening hours can be found here.

Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2020 more than 54 million Americans will not have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Social Good Patch project; Feeding America receives 100% of donations. Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.

Norma P. Rex