Hunger Walk, Socks and Annual Report!

Hunger Walk Coming on June 20th  Mark your calendars now for June 20th, the date of the 29th Annual Hunger Walk, sponsored by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The 3.1-mile (5k) walk at Soldier Field along the lakefront raises awareness and funds to help food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens throughout Chicago. Last year, the Irving Park Food Pantry raised nearly $18,000 from the Walk, our highest total yet, and we hope to continue to grow that number, as the number of neighbors we are serving also continues to grow.

White Socks Needed for Clients  The Pantry is again in need of men’s white crew socks. The socks help many of our clients, especially in the cold winter, and they receive one pair per request. If you can donate any, please bring them to the Pantry on Wednesday morning or leave them at the bottom of the stairs at the Grace Street entrance to the IPUMC during church hours, as with regular food donations

Hot Off the Press! Please read our Annual Report for 2014 – and thank you for your continued support!
2014 IPCFP Annual Report FIN

For more news about the pantry, check out the latest issue of Breadcrumbs, thanks to volunteer Craig Shutt!

Welcome New Client Resources Coordinator

Elvia EsparzaElvia Esparza joined us this week as our new Client Resources Coordinator! A social worker with nine years of experience working with clients in need, she has worked with high-risk pregnant women as a Care Coordinator; crime victims as a Bilingual Public Safety Social Service Worker and children as a Child Welfare Specialist. Elvia has a Bachelors degree from Roosevelt University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is a neighborhood resident who lives just a few blocks away from the Pantry and speaks fluent Spanish. We look forward to working with her and are sure our clients will appreciate her talents!

Easter Distribution Continues…
DebMimiEasterPantry volunteers Debra Delgado and Mimi Nguyen prepare some of the Easter baskets that were given to clients’ children on Wednesday. We are still collecting baskets and goodies, such as plastic eggs filled with jelly beans, snacks (juice pouches, crackers, breakfast bars, pop-tarts, microwave popcorn), wrapped candy, Easter pencils, stickers, crayons, small stuffed animals, toy cars, little books, etc. We give them out in age ranges of Under 2, 3-5 and 6-8 years. The program will continue for the entire month of March. Money also can be donated for the program through our website. If you are interested in donating and have questions, call us at 773-283-6296. Thank you!

Help from Liberty Tax Service
Liberty Tax ServiceThank you to Liberty Tax Services on West Irving Park Road, which partnered with the Pantry once again this year to generate additional donations. For every paid tax return completed between January 2 and February 15, Liberty donated $5 to the Pantry. Shown here is Liberty President Mike Barrett (right) and Manager Mike McNichols (rear) presenting the check to Pantry Executive Director John Psiharis and Grants Writer Gloria Price. This month, Liberty is offering a 50% discount on tax-preparation fees to anyone making a $20 donation to the Pantry through March 31st. For more information, contact Mike McNichols at 773/286-6900.

Benefit for Building Repairs and Job Opportunity

Save the North Wall
Whether you are religious, agnostic or athiest, there’s no denying that Irving Park United Methodist Church has been home to this food pantry since its inception. Additionally, IPUMC has been a home to our food pantry, as well as a source of encouragement and support for all of our efforts over the years. Now they need our support. Please attend a Benefit to Save the North Wall on Sunday, January 25th. This uplifting event will provide something for all ages to enjoy: Music – Ministries – Memories: Sunday, January 25th at Irving Park United Methodist Church, located at 3801 N. Keeler. There will be musical performances in the sanctuary from 11:30 – 12:30 p.m., followed by a spaghetti luncheon in Fellowship Hall from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Community groups that share this space will talk about their services and tell stories of hope.

Everyone passing through our sanctuary has enjoyed the spectacular stained glass chancel window installed when the addition was completed in the mid-60s. This wall has been deteriorating and is in need of serious repairs. For more information on how you can contribute to the “Save the Wall” fund or to share your story, please call the church office at 773-283-6262. A dollar-for-dollar matching gifts opportunity is in place through January. The repairs on the wall are scheduled for Spring 2015. Visit and click on CAPITAL CAMPAIGN to find out about the specific work that needs to be done, the progress and the history of the wall.

Job Opportunity: Food Pantry Seeks Client Resources Coodinator
Position: Client Resources Coordinator.
This position reports to the Executive Director of Irving Park Community Food Pantry. The start date is February, 2015. Hours: 10-12 hours per week, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm on the second Tuesday of every month, other hours TBD. Occasional evening and weekend hours. Pay rate: To Be Determined.
Click here for a complete job description.