Families stand in rain to keep their place in line.

January 6, 2012
by Fredi Schlagel

Fredi Schlagel, the Food Bank Coordinator here at Feeding America, recently visited a remarkable food pantry served by the Northern Illinois Food Bank. She shares her experience below.

On a rainy December day, umbrellas provided little shelter to families waiting in line to receive food from the Lord's Lamb Ministry Food Pantry in Hopkins Park, Ill. Patiently, soaked and tired clients came in one by one to fill their boxes with food. They were greeted inside by Bruce and Lillian Spencer, who are both ready to guide them through the tractor-trailer full of food.

Wednesdays start early for Bruce and Lillian, the directors of Lord's Lambs Ministry Food Pantry. They begin the day by picking up additional food donations from Walmart before handing out an average of 300 pounds of food to Kankakee County residents from 11am — 1 pm. The Lord's Lamb Ministry Food Pantry, an agency of Northern Illinois Food Bank, has served this Kankakee County community every Wednesday since 2007. Clients receive approximately 3 days-worth of food per visit.

In Kankakee County, 17.2percent of people and 25.7 percent of children are "food insecure," without access to enough food to live an active, healthy life. New families arrive to the pantry each week, many with at least one underemployed adult who can't bring enough money home to make ends meet. By providing food at no cost, the pantry helps these families save enough money to meet their rent or mortgage payments and fill their cars with gas.

To learn more about the Lord's Lambs Ministry Food Pantry contact Bruce Spencer at bruce.spencer@att.net or Fredi Schlagel at fschlagel@feedingamerica.org.

Tags: Food Bank Network , Illinois , Northern Illinois Food Bank

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