Girl Scouts working at the OP-RF Food Pantry

No one has ever become poor by giving.

—Anne Frank

Wisdom from youth always inspires and gives us hope. It’s one more reason why we love the annual Girl Scout Food Drive. Not only is it one of the OP-RF Food Pantry’s biggest sources of donated food and personal care goods, but it is one of the most comprehensive community outreach efforts involving thousands of girl scouts, troop leaders, parents, and volunteers of all stripes. Such kindness and teamwork give us hope for the world.

Thousands of pounds are collected throughout the villages and are delivered in just a few hours where they are frantically sorted. (“Where do pork and beans go — with beans or meat?”) Always there are donations that do not fit neatly into one of the dozens of bins for categories. Always a glass jar of something messy must be dropped and broken. And always we are amazed at the generosity and unflappability of those who help.

This year, the Girl Scouts outdid themselves with their efforts, bringing in 23,000 pounds of food — nearly twice the level of last year. Co-chairs Christine Graves and Sarah Corbin deserve much of the credit, but they also believe hosting the drive in October gave all the troops more time to organize. 

In addition to food, or sometimes in place of it, some savvy donors left checks — $546 in total. The pantry can buy $10 worth of food for $1 at Greater Chicago Food Depository. Also appreciated were donations of toiletries and personal care items like toilet paper and diapers. Pantry clients cannot buy these with LINK cards, and the pantry cannot buy them at any significant discount.

The pantry is grateful for all the donors and for the hard-working girl scouts, parents, and volunteers — including Boy Scout Troop 16, which lent muscle for hauling full bins. Their efforts ensure that hundreds of local families have food to put on their tables. 

Thank you for working together as a community to end local hunger.

J. Peter Clark

Board president

Michele Zurakowski

Executive director

OP-RF Food Pantry

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