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A message from Michelle Zurakowski, Executive Director, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry
First, the FOOD! We estimate the girls collected over 21,000 pounds of food for our Pantry—enough to feed over 600 families. And it's not just the amount of food, but the wonderful variety our clients so enjoy. They tire of the same kinds of foods we can afford to purchase, so the wonderful treats that come from this food drive are treasured by our clients. Some people also donated checks, making it possible for us to purchase even more food. You collected over $300, enough to feed another 35 families.
Second, we were all deeply impressed by the level of service exhibited by both the girls and their parents. Running up and down the pantry stairs carrying 18,000 pounds of food is no mean feat! Over 40 troop leaders and 400 girls made it seems like fun, though. And of course carrying the food down the stairs was only part of the effort. We are grateful to everyone who hung door-signs on over 17,000 doors in an attempt to get out the word about the food drive. Parents criss-crossed the village with their troops, picking up food and delivering it here. We were especially impressed this year with how the older girls mentored the younger ones in the process. You could tell that the older girls took pride in their experience and enjoyed showing the younger ones the ropes of sorting food.
Finally, we are deeply grateful for the long term effects we believe this event has on each of the girls. All of us want our kids to be generous and considerate. We want them to grow up to think of others and to be charitable. The Girl Scout Food Drive instills an early love of philanthropy as the girls see first-hand how important their work is. As the cans pile higher and higher in the storage bins, the girls get a visceral sense of how much they are helping to meet a real need.
On behalf of our clients, we thank you with all our hearts for all you have done.
Executive Director, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry