How the Glen Ellyn food pantry continues to help feed thousands.

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Kevin Ashley, Staff Writer

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The coronavirus pandemic has caused unemployment rates to spike causing many Americans to wonder how they will feed their families. As food insecurity rises, so does the pressure placed on food banks, said Glen Ellyn Food Pantry Manager Terri Venzon. 

“We have noticed that we are having an increase in new clients every day,” Venzon said. “More people are unemployed, and they are choosing to use our food pantry for their food and using their money for other things like medical and utility bills.” 

The problems faced by the towns and the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry services are not unique. In February 2020, the amount of unemployed was 6.2 million Americans. By May, it was 20.5 million Americans, and in March 2021 the amount of unemployed was 10.1 million Americans, according to the Pew Research Center and the U.S. Labor Department. 

That unemployment has caused many locals to use a service many never thought they would, but the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry has been able to rise to the occasion. 

“We supply dairy products and have a lot of refrigerated items,” Venzon said.  We have frozen items like chicken, pork, and eggs. A lot of fruits and vegetables we receive daily from local retailers and bread and pastries and non-perishable items.” 

The food supplied at the food pantry is available to all people within the 12 towns the organization serves Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Lisle, Lombard, Villa Park, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton and  Winfield.

“Every day we are trying to serve people in a contactless way so that we can provide the food that they are in need of,” said Venzon. 

In order to keep helping the community and keep everyone involved safe, they have developed a new way of handing out the food. They have been following CDC guidelines to the best of their ability and have made a contactless system where the volunteers at the pantry call up the people who have made an appointment for food in order for them to customize their order. Then they come over and pick it up without anyone from the pantry getting in contact with them. Because of their new way of service they have managed to not have to close once during the pandemic. 

The Glen Ellyn Food Pantry also hosted a vaccination clinic to get not only the people working there COVID-19 safe but also some elderly residents in the Glen Ellyn community.

If you want to help keep the Glen Ellyn food pantry stocked or you want to gain access to its services you can do both at https://www.glenellynfoodpantry.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwmIuDBhDXARIsAFITC_4u4wbOPXjpuOKAeiVLNPUfERmV1ZgM3-gy3LNX77YjfxHI4WLIpSMaAgpCEALw_wcB