Lakeview Pantry Opens Satellite Site at Wrigley Field to Meet Demand Due to COVID-19
Mayor Lightfoot and Cubs owners Tom and Laura Ricketts Tour Site Designed to Accommodate Social Distancing Guidelines for Volunteers and Staff
CHICAGO – April 16, 2020 – Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Chicago Cubs owners Tom and Laura Ricketts for a visit to a new Lakeview Pantry satellite site at Wrigley Field. The temporary site will support the Pantry in keeping up with the increased number of residents seeking food assistance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wrigley Field accommodates not only the space required for increased in-kind donations, but also for its volunteers to safely social distance while sorting and packing food for those in need.
“I am incredibly proud of Lakeview Pantry, the Ricketts Family, and the entire Lakeview community for their work in stepping up and doing their part to support our residents and keep our city moving during this crisis,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “These past few months have been hard on all of us, and we still have a long way to go, but thanks to this new collaboration, we will be able to not only keep up with demand for food programs, but provide other social services as well. We are all in this together, and we will come out stronger than ever because of the passion and commitment of partnerships like these.”
“Challenges related to COVID-19 are impacting Chicagoans in a variety of ways, and we’re seeing that directly through increased demand for food and mental health support,” said Kellie O’Connell, CEO, Lakeview Pantry. “While we call Lakeview home, the Pantry’s work takes us to every corner of the city and we are so grateful to our neighbors, the Chicago Cubs, for stepping up to support those who need it most at this difficult time.”
Since March 16, visitors to Lakeview Pantry’s food programs have increased by more than 140 percent and its social services programs have risen by 30 percent.
“The strength of our city is in our neighborhoods and this community has been pulling together, neighbors helping neighbors, and it is heartwarming,” said Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts. “We are proud to support Lakeview Pantry at this critical time as the Cubs organization transitions from preparing for baseball to supporting COVID-19 response efforts not only in Lakeview, but across Chicago and throughout Illinois.”
Lakeview Pantry has existed for 50 years to serve those struggling from hunger. In recent years, the Pantry has expanded to serve more of the city, providing more than 1.7 million meals and critical social services and mental health counseling to low-income residents. Since the COVID-19 crisis, Lakeview Pantry has provided assistance to residents in more than 40 different zip codes throughout Chicago.
To meet this demand, volunteers are needed to fill three-hour shifts in the concourse at Wrigley Field between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday until further notice. The health and wellness of all is the Pantry’s priority – in addition to strict adherence to social distancing, the use of cloth or other non-surgical masks at all Lakeview Pantry sites in accordance with the latest CDC recommendations is mandated. For those not able to volunteer, there is also a critical and ongoing need for financial contributions to keep our neighbors healthy and fed. Every $1 provides eight meals. To sign up or donate, visit lakeviewpantry.org.
In addition, Wrigley Field will also serve as a distribution site for residents to pick up food on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 12 – 2 p.m. Information regarding this process is available by visiting lakeviewpantry.org/wrigley. For those not able to make it to Wrigley Field, the Pantry also distributes food six days a week at its Sheridan location, two days a week at La Casa Norte, conducts Saturday home deliveries for seniors, and runs an Online Market where people can choose their groceries and pick them up at their convenience.
In addition to the generous donation of space by the Cubs, the Pantry would like to recognize The Quaker Oats Company for donating 3,000 cases of products to assist in this effort; Frost Chicago for a box truck and driver to help safely move the increase of food supply; Lenovo for donating computers and Genesis Technologies for donating a printer for the Pantry team to use onsite at Wrigley Field; Bishop Image Group for providing signage; Chicago Cares for on-site volunteer support and Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications for logistics support.
About Lakeview Pantry: Since 1970, Lakeview Pantry has provided nutritious groceries and essential social services to residents in Chicago. Its mission is to eliminate hunger in the community by providing food to fill the basic needs of hungry people, by empowering clients to gain independence through social service programs, and by raising awareness of hunger and poverty. On a yearly basis, the Pantry distributed over 1.7 million meals through 50,000 site visits. Visit www.lakeviewpantry.org to learn more.
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