Walk to End Hunger!

Friends and Volunteers of Irving Park Community Food Pantry are excited to walk!

Friends and Volunteers of Irving Park Community Food Pantry are excited to walk!

Hunger Walk Scheduled for Saturday, June 20th
Did you know that today…still…more than 812,000 men, women and children — 1 in 6 in Cook County — turn to the network of food pantries of the Greater Chicago Food Depository for assistance? We continue to work to lower the numbers, and raise awareness of hunger through the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s 29th Annual Hunger Walk, which will be held on Saturday, June 20th at Soldier Field. This event is IP Food Pantry’s greatest fundraiser of the year, and it is so for many other food pantries and soup kitchens as well. You can help Irving Park Community Food Pantry directly through one or all of three ways:

1) Donate! You can donate online or write a check to Greater Chicago Food Depository (be sure to write HW, Agy.#A00113 in the memo to ensure the money goes to Irving Park Food Pantry).
2) Walk! Register online with Team Irving Park or contact Lee. Check-in time begins at 7 a.m., the walk begins at 8:30 a.m.
3) Just Show Up! You don’t even have to walk – just show up for all the fun and excitement (and free goodies), and check in with one of the GCFD registrations tents to let them know that you’re there for Agency A00113 – Irving Park Food Pantry.

Anyone who walks or shows up on our behalf will earn the food pantry $12 in food credits through the GCFD! Call us at 773-283-6296 for more information. 

One last way to help is to spread the word! Tell your friends and family. June 20th will be a beautiful day to get together for a walk by the lake, and you’ll be letting everyone know that NO 1 SHOULD GO HUNGRY!

Volunteers Adele, Gina, Debra and Gerry take a moment before the walk!

Volunteers Adele, Gina, Debra and Gerry take a moment before the walk!

WebSNAP Volunteer Dennis Delavera, Executive Director John Psiharis and volunteer Anna Besmann get ready to walk!

WebSNAP Volunteer Dennis Delavera, Executive Director John Psiharis and volunteer Anna Besmann get ready to walk!

OTHER DONATIONS: Keep those men’s white crew socks coming! We’re always in need of them as they help our clients in many ways. As always, non-perishable food items like rice, snacks, pasta, pasta and rice mixes, cookies, energy bars and juice are always appreciated. Other items that are useful to clients are toiletries and baby diapers.


ANNUAL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY We are looking for a volunteer–or volunteers–who are interested in coordinating, planning and carrying out one of our annual special distributions (coats, school supplies or Easter baskets). This is a great one-time project for at-home parents, student service hour coordinators, etc. Please contact Lee for complete information, let us know you’re interested in helping with “annual special distributions” today!

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.