Neighborhood Food Pantries (NFP), a regional nonprofit operating six food pantries in northwest DuPage County, will host a ribbon cutting event at its new West Chicago food pantry location at 123 Fremont Street on Saturday, September 14th at 2 pm. The public is invited.
The renovation of the building, having served since 1955 as a grocery store, an office supply store, and a bakery, has resulted in a 5,600 square foot pantry for local families living with food insecurity – not knowing the source of their next meals. The new, expanded location replaces NFP’s current pantry located on the property of Real Life Church on Route 59, which had a footprint of 900 square feet.
Four West Chicago entities partnered on the project: (1) The Risch-Dieckmann Family Foundation, longtime supporters of Neighborhood Food Pantries, purchased the building and donated it to (2) St. Michael’s United Church of Christ who, as the building’s owner, provided personnel to oversee the renovation with pro bono help from Carol Stream architectural firm L.B. Herbst and Associates.
The funds for the building makeover were provided primarily by (3) First Congregational Church, whose leadership dedicated a portion of property sale proceeds to the creation of a new food pantry in West Chicago. The Risch-Dieckmann Foundation provided additional support for renovation costs as well.
(4) Neighborhood Food Pantries will be the managing partner for the pantry and has secured grants and special funding for refrigeration and other equipment and systems in the building.
The pantry will be a green building with a significant portion of its electrical needs to be provided by a solar panel array on the roof.
The NFP pantry site on Route 59 last year served almost 1000 families – 2,200 adults, 1,745 children, and 345 senior citizens – who visited the site 9,500 times, receiving the equivalent of 812,855 meals. Executive Director Tom Norton said, “With our newfound capacity, we expect pantry traffic to increase and food security in West Chicago to improve in the years ahead and be a blessing to our neighbors.”
NFP website: NeighborhoodFP.org
Contact: Tom Norton, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org