After in-store shopping closed in January for the safety of customers, volunteers and staff, West Suburban Community Pantry’s Pantry Store in Woodridge is scheduled to reopen Saturday, February 26 for regular in-person shopping from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Customers can choose their preferences for fresh produce, meat and fish, dry goods, dairy, baked goods and supplies including diapers and wipes, pet food, cleaning and household supplies. A new section featuring items for school and adult lunches will also be unveiled.
After several weeks of boxed curbside distribution, despite harsh winter conditions, Pantry General Manager Laura Coyle is looking forward to reopening the Pantry store.
“We always prefer our neighbors to do their own shopping at the store if it is safe for us to do so. We believe that shopping in a pantry should be a dignified experience that comes as close as possible to shopping in a groceries,” she added. said. “We will always aim for the most satisfying and safest experience we can offer.”
The pantry will adhere to local and national guidelines regarding COVID safety measures. Masks will be required for shoppers and volunteers on Saturday. The reopening is based on the recent decrease in reported COVID cases and the number of hospitalizations in DuPage County.
“We will continue to do everything we can to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for everyone, and we look forward to welcoming our neighbors back. We will be smiling, even with masks on!” said Coyle.
The pause in in-store shopping has led to a steady increase in customers signing up to use the Virtual Food Pantry, recently launched by the food pantry, www.virtualfoodpantry.net, which offers online ordering and pickup at the most convenient time and place for the customer. The Pantry has focused its efforts over the past two years on ways to increase access, choice and dignity in the provision of food. The newly remodeled Pantry Store 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. Rooted in the community for 30 years, it offers the on-site Pantry Store in Woodridge, the Virtual Food Pantry and a senior home delivery program to households in need in DuPage County, Bolingbrook and Romeoville. The pantry also runs child nutrition programs in local school districts and connects families with financial aid and free workshops. For more information on its services and hours of operation, visit www.wscpantry.org.