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Glen Ellyn Food Pantry is opening a larger new home due to increased demand

CHICAGO (CBS) — As food banks in DuPage County continue to scramble to meet demand, one provider said they can now serve many more people thanks to a major move to a new home.

There may be no more appropriate place for the leaders of the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry to work on their mission than a historic 100-year-old building: a former parsonage – residence for church staff – renovated with capital campaign funds to create 6,000 square feet of food pantry storage and shopping aisles.

“Our motto, which we have had since the beginning, is to make hunger history,” said Laura Glaza, director of Glen Ellyn Food Pantry.

Jodi Krush hit the aisles this week with her 13-year-old daughter, Bea Barzo.

“I love that we get to pick out our own food,” Bea said.

It’s a service they’ve come to rely on after Krush found himself unemployed due to a back injury.

“It definitely fills that gap,” Krush said.

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Although Glen Ellyn is in their name, the food bank will serve anyone who works, lives or goes to school in DuPage County. Glaza indicates that the need for this is often much greater than local residents may realize.

“The need is greater than ever. The stimulus checks are gone. SNAP benefits are back to normal. So we have seen – already in the first half of the year – 350 more families than last year. So 350 new neighbors have been added. stopped by,” she said.

The numbers in every category have increased; Inventory management leaders said they distributed 200,000 pounds of fresh produce in 2022 and are on track to distribute 300,000 pounds this year, with room to grow even further.

“It used to be a little crowded, so now we have plenty of room to do what we’re trying to do,” volunteer Carol Hammons said.

However, more space and more customers create the need for their next challenge: more volunteers.

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Food bank staff said they specifically need volunteers to patrol the parking lots because there is now more space between the building and cars. Many of their customers need help loading groceries into their cars.

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