Holiday Distribution Coming Up!

Preparing for the Holidays!
The Irving Park Community Food Pantry will hold its annual holiday distribution for clients on Wednesday, December 17th. At this event each year, we close the Pantry to our typical Wednesday operation and provide all of our clients with the makings of a holiday dinner. We also allow those with children to “shop” our Toy Room for gift and a book for each of them.

To fill these needs, we are especially in need of stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned yams and vegetables, instant potatoes, cake mixes, Jell-O and canned pumpkin. For traditional food drives, we also are in need of dry goods, such as peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, hamburger helper-type meals (such as rice-a-roni and pasta-roni), whole-grain crackers, dried fruit and nuts, dry soup mixes, energy bars and juice (100% fruit juice). We always are in need of toiletries and white crew socks.

Children up to 12 years old are eligible to receive a gift, and we typically give out 400 or so to clients. For some, it will be the only gift they receive, and those kids who are able to come in to pick out their own gift are very excited and happy to receive one.

We especially need gifts for older children (age 10 to 12), especially boys, as we receive fewer for that age group. Soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, building sets and board games are good options. These kids also enjoy reading age-appropriate nonfiction books and graphic novels (aka comic books). NEW, UNWRAPPED toys and food donations can be brought to the Pantry at the Irving Park United Methodist Church (3801 N. Keeler Ave.) during office hours (please call 773-283-6262 to check on times, as they vary). Donations can be left at the base of the stairs inside the Grace Street entrance. They also can be brought to the church from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays during Pantry operating hours.

Thank you to Barb Cohn and Vicci Rodgers, who are joined this year by Sara Yoest and Renee Linnemeyer, for organizing the toy distribution. For information or to volunteer, contact Vicci Rodgers at

Great thanks to the anonymous donor who contributed 92 pairs of men’s, women’s, kid’s and infant’s socks in November! We were running low on many of those kinds and requests for socks really pick up this time of year. We appreciate the donation, and we are always looking to replenish our supply.

Wine & Beer-Tasting A Success!
The Pantry had a successful wine-tasting event on Sunday November 2nd at Mirabell Restaurant, where we raised $3200! Thanks to Jeff Heil for once again hosting our program and to all the volunteers and patrons who made the event a success. This year, it was expanded to include both wine and local micro-beer tastings. Special thanks to Todd Hess and Veronica Hastings of H2Vino for their generous wine donations and to Peter Litton, who donated wine and delivered all of it to the event. Thanks also to the local brewers who donated beers: Ale Syndicate, Goose Island Beer Co., Haymarket Brewery, Lake Effect Brewing Co., Metropolitan Brewing and Revolution Brewing. Special thanks also to all who donated items for the silent auction: Pat Bruss, Barbara Carlson, Benjamin Chee Chee, Community Tavern, Filament Theatre, Portage Restaurant, Dr. and Mrs. Art Fox, T.J. Hine Photography, Mary Pat Jones C.P.D.T./Barks & Recreation, La Villa Restaurant, Lifeline Theatre, Peter Litton, Mariano’s, Marmalade, Matt Marton Photography, Original Alps Restaurant, Anne Roberts Gardens, Lee Samsani Stein Knits, Laura Marie Sanchez, Sandra Schwarzbeck/Moonlight Designs Studio, Spex Optical, Sara Yoest and The Yoga Shop.

IMG_4642 IMG_4645 IMG_4652 IMG_4663 IMG_4653 IMG_4644 IMG_4643 IMG_4667