In response to increased customer demand for food and supplies, West Suburban Community Pantry in Woodridge has expanded hours and services to accommodate an increase in customer numbers, resulting in overcrowded facilities and slow times. waiting for admission. The change could also better accommodate the return to work of some clients.
“Our primary concern is to make the shopping experience accessible, dignified, comfortable and convenient for all of our customers and their families,” said Paul Matsushima, director of pantry operations. “These changes will ensure that the pantry shelves are fully and attractively displayed, our friendly volunteers can see that customers are finding what they need, and allow families to shop online or in-store at times that suit them.”
In-person shopping at the Pantry Store has been expanded to include full shopping on Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon, whereas previously customers could only purchase fresh produce, milk, eggs and bread on Mondays. Tuesday shopping hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Pantry has extended shopping to 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
“Almost 100 customers shopped on Tuesday. We don’t want people waiting in bad weather or in hot cars to check in and start shopping,” Matsushima said. “Adding full service on Mondays and opening all day on Thursdays should help alleviate this.”
Additionally, the Pantry has added pick-up times from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the Woodridge Pantry for the Virtual Pantry, allowing shoppers to order groceries online for up to a day in advance and pick them up at a time and place. that best suits their needs. For more information on the Virtual Food Pantry, visit www.virtualfoodpantry.net.
A recent survey indicated that approximately 25% of respondents relied on the West Suburban Community Food Pantry for more than 50% of their weekly food needs. Some 40% of respondents with children said they skipped a meal because of an everyday expense. The Pantry serves residents in need in Woodridge, Naperville, Lisle and all of DuPage County as well as Bolingbrook and Romeoville, and welcomes donations of unopened food, cleaning supplies, pet food, personal care items, baby diapers and wipes, and monetary gifts. Additional volunteers are welcome for training. For more information and the full list of times, visit www.wscpantry.org.