Contributed by Kathy Russell, Executive Director of the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry
On Saturday, May 14, the Letter Carriers of Oak Park and the Boy Scouts of Troop 16 combined efforts in the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The letter carriers collected food from community members and Troop 16 helped to unload, sort and shelve the food at Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry.
It is undoubtedly a challenge to feed 1400 families every month. Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry always meets that challenge—but not without assistance from a myriad of community members. The OPRF Food Pantry would like to express gratitude to Steven May for coordinating the food drive on the letter carrier side, to all the letter carriers who hauled food from neighbors’ homes to the south post office and to Boy Scout Troop 16’s help on the Pantry’s side. The strength, organization and energy of the letter carriers and Troop 16 Scouts made this event effortless for the Pantry staff.
In addition, they want to thank everyone in the community – the neighbors supporting neighbors – who raided their own pantries to stock the Pantry’s.
For over 30 years, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry has served as a bridge for many and a lifeline for a few. In the pantry’s press release, they stated, “We find that 89% of our clients come to the Pantry for less than one year. The services we provide are a bridge for those ordinary people who are experiencing extraordinary circumstances. We help see them through the difficult time. For others, clients who are disabled or elderly, we may help for a longer period of time.”