Volunteer of the Year Announced: Gerry Calderone

Gerry Calderon VOY 2014Congratulations to Gerry Calderone, the Irving Park Food Pantry’s Volunteer of the 2013/2014 Year! Gerry has volunteered at the Pantry for five years and has done a number of jobs, including working a variety of food stations and serving as line leader. We appreciate all her hard work on our behalf! Her honor was presented by Volunteer Manager Lee Stein and Executive Director John Psiharis on Wednesday at Mirabell Restaurant & Lounge, which hosted our Annual Volunteer luncheon. Everyone had a great time and had a great lunch, and we thank them for their support. 

Fossil 4-30-14




Thank you to the folks at Fossil who volunteered to work at the Pantry in April. They put together food bags, cut up boxes and helped out in other stations all day. This is the second year they’ve volunteered.


The Food Pantry will hold a 30th anniversary celebration (we opened in April 1984) on the afternoon of Sunday, July 20th at the Irving Park United Methodist Church at 3801 N. Keeler, our home base. More details to come on our Facebook page and this website.

Hunger Walk is June 21st, 2014!

The Hunger Walk is a 5K-event to raise funds and awareness for the Food Depository’s work in Cook County. The funds raised for the Hunger Walk as a whole, covers the event’s overhead expenses, and is then divided amongst the 650 food pantries (including ours), soup kitchens and shelters, to help supplement their budgets or, in some cases, serve as their entire annual budget. This — the largest anti-hunger event in Chicago — is also Irving Park Food Pantry’s largest fundraiser of the year and typically covers the majority of our annual budget!

If you donate through Team Irving Park Food Pantry (Agency A00113), 100% of your donation will go DIRECTLY to the Irving Park Food Pantry. What can your donation do? Well…$50 provides 150 meals. $100 provides 300 meals. $250 provides 750 meals, and so on. However, ANY amount you can donate will make big difference, especially since our membership at the Greater Chicago Food Depository allows us to purchase food for our clients at a mere 7¢ per pound.

To make an online donation to the Hunger Walk, CLICK HERE. This should take you to Irving Park Food Pantry’s Hunger Walk Page. This page will ensure your donation goes directly to the Irving Park Community Food Pantry. You can click on the green “Donate Now” button to donate to the team as a whole, or you can click on a team member to make a donation through an individual on the team.

Walk With Us!
While you’re online, you may also join our team as a walker! To do this, click on the orange “join team” button. Note: You don’t have to raise funds. Joining our team means you will walk with us, or at least “show up,” and not walk at all! The important thing is that you do show up, so your presence will be counted as a “team walker.” For every team walker IP Food Pantry recruits, we will earn an additional $12 food credit, which can go a long way to feed our clients! IMPORTANT: In order to be counted towards IP Food Pantry Team walkers, you MUST register, by visiting the online register page. If you are unable to register online, you can easily do so at the day of the event by arriving early (before Step-Off).

The Hunger Walk is Saturday, June 21st, 2014 - Registration begins at 7 a.m.; Step-Off at 8:30 a.m at Soldier Field. The walk is 3.1 miles, but don’t let this scare you – you can walk at your own pace. In fact, you don’t have to walk at all. Again, just show up!

Of course, if you prefer to donate to the Hunger Walk the old-fashioned way, please send your check payable to Irving Park Food Pantry. Don’t forget to write “HW - Irving Park Food Pantry – Agency A00113″ in the memo section. Send HW donations to us at 3801 N. Keeler, Chicago 60641 by July 1st, 2014.

What’s Going on at IP Food Pantry?

Park View Kids

Principal Mary Perillo and six students at Park View Lutheran School braved the frigid temperatures to work at the Pantry in late January, working a variety of stations. Photo by Craig Shutt

Disney Crafts

Pantry Executive Director John Psiharis and Office Manager Sandra Schwarzbeck (in back holding the cash) visited Disney II Elementary Magnet School to learn about the students created a business and generated profits they donated to the Pantry during a visit to the school in late January. Photo by Craig Shutt

Cropp Donation

Nate Cropp, who donated $1,000 to the Pantry through contributions from his annual showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Patio Theater, talks with (l-r): Volunteer Manager Lee Stein, Executive Director John Psiharis, Office Manager Sandra Schwarzbeck and Client Resources Coordinator Julie Kult. Photo by Craig Shutt