Volunteers help to paint a “monumental work” on the west-facing wall of Lakeview Pantry’s new facility.
The mural is “a tribute to the human spirit that is nourished by (Lakeview Pantry’s) invaluable community service to the city of Chicago and its people,” said Pablo Serrano, the Pilsen artist behind the project.
The new partnership between Primo Center and Lakeview Pantry, which began in September, is part of the Pantry’s growing online market program. It’s one example of how the Pantry is trying to serve more people in need who might not be able to — or who might not want to — access a traditional food pantry.
“We’re trying to meet people where they’re at, with as much choice and dignity as possible,” said Jennie Hull, the Pantry’s chief program officer.
Throughout the pandemic, Lakeview Pantry has been fortunate to have Bill Thomas making many tough decisions on the fly. This Friday, Thomas, 65, is retiring after an impressive career spanning more than four decades in the food industry and nonprofit sector, including a 10-year run at Feeding America.
In the Q&A interview, Thomas reflects on his career, a changing food industry and his time at Lakeview Pantry during the pandemic.
This holiday season, La Casa Norte’s Fresh Market — a partnership with Lakeview Pantry — is serving a growing number of people on Chicago’s West Side.
Though the economy has improved and the pandemic’s impact has slowed, many people are still trying to find their footing in the ongoing crisis. Visits to Lakeview Pantry’s food distributions are still up more than 60 percent as compared to pre-pandemic times.
Each person carries a unique story of hardship, grit and perseverance.