By Bob Bong
The cupboards are bare at the Orland Township Food Pantry after two highly attended grocery giveaways in April and last Friday.
Now, Orland Township is asking for the community to help in restocking the shelves of the Food Pantry through a Go Fund Me campaign and donation drives.
Between the two distribution events on April 24 and May 8, the food pantry gave out close to 1,000 boxes packed with perishable and non-perishable grocery items, 1,000 cases of water, paper towels, toilet paper and a $25 gift card to a local grocery store to residents in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to unprecedented demand because of skyrocketing unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic, food donations go out as quickly as they come into the pantry.
Grocery store donations to the food pantry also have dropped in recent weeks.
“We were very fortunate to be able to assist so many families during this difficult time,” said Supervisor Paul O’Grady. “We need to be able to keep assisting residents, so we are asking those in the community who are able, to donate to the food pantry so we can help residents keep food on their tables.
“No matter how big or how small, any donation made will provide for a neighbor in need during these challenging times,” said O’Grady. “I urge anyone who is able to please support Orland Township’s efforts by contributing to the ‘Stock the Pantry Donation Drive’ and help us reach our $50,000 goal.”
Donations can be made by going to https://www.gofundme.com/f/orland-township-food-donation-drive.
All donations are 100% tax deductible. Funds raised will enable the Township Food Pantry to purchase needed pantry items and gift cards to local grocery stores.
The Orland Township Food Pantry donation drives will operate as a drive-thru with township staff coming out to take donations from vehicles.
The donation drives will be held Friday, May 15, and Friday, May 29, at Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Non-perishable items are needed. Those items include: boxed stuffing, cake mix, boxed/canned broth, canned chicken, canned fruit, canned tuna, cereal, dry potatoes, jelly, mac and cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, rice, soup, and grocery store gift cards.
For information, call the township office at 708-403-4222, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.