On behalf of our entire team, we wish you – our clients, volunteers, and supporters – safety, health and peace during this trying time. During the COVID-19 crisis, we will post weekly updates about our programs and any important news we have to share. Included at the end of this post are the ways you can support the Pantry.
We’ve seen demand for food services spike by 410% in the past 6 weeks and social services spike by 85% (compared to a typical 6-week time frame). Lakeview Pantry is committed to serving Chicagoans in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Not only are we helping the most vulnerable populations in our community, but as businesses of all kinds close their doors in response to COVID-19, many have been forced to turn to a food pantry for the first time. It will take all of us to step up, chip in, and lend a hand to weather this unprecedented emergency – together.
- Join Lakeview Pantry CEO, Kellie O’Connell, at La Casa Norte’s #InspiringHope digital event on May 20 at 1pm! She will participate as a panelist for a thought-provoking and informative discussion focused on Health & Wellness. Learn more about this event at LCNhope.givesmart.com!
- Kellie also spoke alongside join Sen. Dick Durbin, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, and Alderman Samantha Nugent for a virtual town hall covering hunger, domestic violence, immigrant-specific resources, and the Census on May 1!
- Thank you for a successful #GivingTuesdayNow! On May 5, we were able to SURPASS our goal and raise enough to provide more than 829,000 meals for our neighbors in need thanks to all of you! We couldn’t be more grateful for this incredible outpouring of support as we all continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of our community, friends, volunteers and donors, we will continue to help Chicagoans suffering from hunger. Get involved at lakeviewpantry.org/ways-to-help!
- Shoutout to Block Club Chicago for covering our recent fundraising efforts and enormous increase in demand! We appreciate their help spreading the word about our work.
- Learn more about why our Staff, Board of Directors and Young Leaders Board support Lakeview Pantry in our special #GivingTuesdayNow videos!
- A special shoutout to Chicago’s First Lady Amy Eshleman, her close friend Ann Taylor, and Julie Smolyansky, President & CEO of Lifeway Foods for volunteering with us at Wrigley Field on April 28!
- As we enter the month of May, please plan ahead by noting that Lakeview Pantry will be CLOSED for Memorial Day on Saturday, May 23 AND Monday, May 25. ALL Lakeview Pantry programs will be closed. Thank you for your understanding! All of our upcoming closures can be found at lakeviewpantry.org/closures.
- Click here to virtually get to know all of our new temporary staff members!
- Please join us in welcoming our newest staff member to the team—Kathryn Lyons! Kathryn joins Lakeview Pantry in the newly created role of Chief Development Officer. In her position, she will continue to cultivate revenue streams and avenues for fundraising while furthering the overall mission of Lakeview Pantry.
Before coming to the Pantry, Kathryn served as Chief Growth Officer of Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), an organization dedicated to helping advance women leaders in the food industry. Prior to WWW, she spent nearly nine years at Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, as Managing Director of Corporate Partnerships. In this position, Kathryn led a team responsible for the growth and development of Feeding America’s new corporate partnerships, helping secure more than $100 million in transformational funding to support strategic initiatives.
A native of Chicago, Kathryn has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University. Kathryn is raising two daughters with her husband Brian. Welcome to the team, Kathryn. We are thrilled to have you!
- The Cubs may not be playing at Wrigley Field right now, but that didn’t stop one fan’s marriage proposal… One of our very own Pantry Coordinators, Angela, is now engaged! As longtime Cubs fans, Ben’s plan was to propose at a game this year, but knowing there may not be any, he thought after volunteering and helping others at Wrigley Field would be the perfect time to ask! Huge congratulations to them both, and see more on ABC 7 Chicago!
- We are still in urgent need of volunteers at all of our sites! Are you healthy and bored at home? Do you want to give back to your community? Volunteering is an essential service during Illinois’ stay at home order! Tell a friend and sign up on your personal site! NOTE: In particular, we would appreciate the help of volunteers who are fluent in Spanish.
How to Support Our Work
- Donate: We have a critical and ongoing need for financial contributions to keep our neighbors healthy and fed. Every $1 provides 8 meals – click here to make a gift now!
- Volunteer: As we anticipate the need for food increasing in the coming weeks, we will need the help of healthy volunteers to help us pack groceries, sort food, and other essential tasks for our most vulnerable communities. Currently, all volunteer orientation sessions are being held virtually. New volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a video orientation link and steps to become an active Lakeview Pantry volunteer. Existing volunteers should continue to follow standard procedures to sign up for shifts.
- In-kind contributions: Donating food to help stock our shelves will be essential. Many food donations from our grocery partners have sharply declined, and our supply costs are likely to increase. Our most-needed items this week are listed below. Large cases of shelf stable items, like those available at Costco, are especially valuable to us. For more information on in-kind donations, please contact Bill Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, at email@example.com.
• Cases of peanut butter
• Cases of canned tuna
• Cases of canned vegetables
• Cases of canned fruit
• Cases of canned beans
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support during this time of uncertainty. Follow us on social media for the latest from Lakeview Pantry and updates from the front lines of the fight against hunger: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Take care and stay well,
The Lakeview Pantry Team