<![CDATA[New Hope Community Food Pantry - Blog]]>Tue, 19 Jan 2016 04:04:31 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[In case you didn't get a call, tomorrow is Election Day]]>Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:11:07 GMThttp://newhopefoodpantry.weebly.com/blog/in-case-you-didnt-get-a-call-tomorrow-is-election-dayI don't know about the rest of you, but I'm ready for the election to happen already.  Why?

1) My phone has been ringing pretty much non-stop for the past few weeks.  It's amazing how popular all the registered voters become when an election is upon us... I'm registered to vote.  Voter records show that I vote.  Thanks for all the recorded messages reminding me that I need to do it again tomorrow.  Got it.

2)I love a dramatic election probably more than the average person in my demographic.  I love Chicago politics because we're just so darned earnest about being the "right guy for the job" (I use "guy" as a gender-neutral word like a real Chicagoan, and not just because we still have a lack of female candidates who get enough support to make it to Election Day. Ahem.)  And at least one candidate has to sport a Ditka-esque mustache.  That's by law, I think.  Maybe it's fatigue from November, but I'm not really feeling it this time around.  I'd just like everybody to get back to work doing the things that need to get done.

The food pantry does not endorse any political party, individual candidate, etc.  We'll work with anybody who wants to partner with us to end hunger in our neighborhood. We also give credit where it is due.  Alderman O'Connor, State Senator Mulroe, and State Representative McAuliffe have each been very supportive of the food pantry's mission.  Our service area extends beyond the 41st Ward, and we'd like to have more aldermanic support from the other wards where we have neighbors facing food insecurity.

Yes, I want all of the runways at O'Hare to be used everyday so I can talk to my neighbor over the fence without shouting.  However, I know that all those airplanes flying over my house translate to dollars being earned and spent in my city.  (If they sounded more like slot machines cashing out that would be a huge plus...) 

Access to sufficient food is included in Article 25 of the Universal Declarations of Human Rights 
<![CDATA[New Hope Community Food Pantry 2018]]>Thu, 15 Jan 2015 19:49:13 GMThttp://newhopefoodpantry.weebly.com/blog/new-hope-community-food-pantry-2018So, no takers on the earlier post to discuss what the food pantry looks like when it reaches 20 years in operation.  Let's bring it down a notch and see where that goes.  We really do care what you think and want you to have input into how your community food pantry evolves.

It's Monday, January 1st 2018.  Thanks to changing weather patterns, it's a balmy 67 degrees.  Tomorrow's high temp is -4 degrees, so it's still winter.  Just in time to get back to work after the holidays.

You're a regular client of the food pantry, and things have been tight again this year over the holidays.  You're ready for the pantry to be open.  Is there anything that the pantry volunteers are able to offer you, in addition to the ability to shop for food and a stop at the Chic Boutique? What would be really useful to be able to get or do at the pantry that would really make a difference to you and your family?
<![CDATA[Dad in a Santa suit...best moment of 2014?]]>Tue, 30 Dec 2014 00:10:41 GMThttp://newhopefoodpantry.weebly.com/blog/dad-in-a-santa-suitbest-moment-of-2014If you look at any of the photos from the 2014 December holiday distribution, you might see a picture of Santa's visit to Toyland.  Actual Santa couldn't make it on the day.  Something about having to merge a bunch of lists on spreadsheets into one master list and it would take all weekend, since all the elves who are the Excel whizzes of the North Pole were already doing overtime in the toy factory.  Since Actual Santa was busy, my dad put on the red suit and represented the jolly old fella.  And he loved it so much he's already signed up to do it again next year.  We're not even going to ask Actual Santa to help with Toyland in 2015.

Being part of the amazing Toyland experience and seeing the generosity of so many people in the community who donated items or time was probably the highlight of the year for me.  Being able to share the experience by having members of my family involved was enormous.  I'm not the only person who made this a multi-generational experience.  So many families have made volunteering at New Hope Community Food Pantry something that they choose to do as a family throughout the year and during the holidays. 

We know that there are plenty of multi-generational families among our clientele, and that can be heartbreaking.  It's nice to know that we also have all combinations of grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and godchildren all coming together throughout the year to join in the fight against hunger.

What was your best moment of 2014?  Tell us about it... 

<![CDATA[2024: What is New Hope Community Food Pantry's role in the community? ]]>Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:19:45 GMThttp://newhopefoodpantry.weebly.com/blog/2024-what-is-new-hope-community-food-pantrys-role-in-the-communityNovember 16th 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the first clients being served by New Hope Community Food Pantry.  It's a natural time to reflect on how the food pantry has evolved over a decade. 

Some volunteers have been involved from the planning stages and are still involved in running the pantry each week.  Some volunteers have joined along the way, bringing more (wo)man power and new skills.  Some volunteers have moved away or passed away and are very much missed.  Clients have found the food pantry and continue to visit whenever necessary.  Some regular clients no longer need to shop the food pantry shelves and have become dedicated volunteers and supporters.  There has been a change in Directors.  There have been changes to the Board.  Many, many process improvements have been implemented to make the client experience as smooth as possible and to allow the food pantry to serve more clients in each week's 2-hour service window.  The food pantry has made alliances across the community to bring basic health screening, nutrition education, and other services to clients.

Technology has impacted many of the facets of the way the food pantry runs and how it interacts with the entire community.  The US has gone through a major economic upheaval from which it is still trying to recover. Food preferences have shifted, and the price of nutritious food is still too high for too many people.  The link between nutrition and health has been made clear. Safety nets within national social welfare programs continue to be used like Monopoly properties in the game of US politics, with the most vulnerable among us bearing most of the costs. 

Through the sheer will and positive attitude of volunteers and support of the surrounding community, the food pantry served about 75,000 people in the past 10 years.  That is the current population of Evanston or Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The number of clients served in 2014 is almost exactly the same number of clients served in 2013.

It has been said that the only goal any non-profit organization should really have is to become  unnecessary and to put itself out of business.  For the food pantry, that would mean no client in our service area faces food insecurity.  Do you think that New Hope Community Food Pantry will mark its 20th year in operation in 2024?  If so, why? If not, what happens? What role do you see the food pantry playing in the community over the next 10 years?
<![CDATA[Hunger. Veterans Day. Discuss.]]>Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:17:04 GMThttp://newhopefoodpantry.weebly.com/blog/hunger-veterans-day-discussThe food pantry's next distribution date is 11/11/2014.  The 2014 Hunger in America report indicates that 20% of families in the Feeding America agency program have at least one member who served in the US military.  The Greater Chicago Food Depository's report on its agencies in Cook County indicates 18% of families have a veteran or a member on active duty.

What do these statistics mean to you?  And, what do you think can realistically be done to reduce that number before the next Hunger in America study is published in 2018?

<![CDATA[Let's start with an easy topic: Why are you here?]]>Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:06:52 GMThttp://newhopefoodpantry.weebly.com/blog/lets-start-with-an-easy-topic-why-are-you-hereIf you are a volunteer or supporter of New Hope Community Food Pantry, why do you choose to be involved in fulfilling our mission?  If you are a client, why do you choose to visit New Hope Community Food Pantry?
<![CDATA[Well, Hello!]]>Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:01:47 GMThttp://newhopefoodpantry.weebly.com/blog/well-helloWelcome to our brand spanking new blog!  This will be a moderated forum for individuals to discuss hunger-related issues, action opportunities, and whatever else transpires as the blog evolves.

We welcome thoughtful and helpful comments from anyone who is involved with New Hope Community Food Pantry with something to share.  Let's see where this new forum takes us as a community.