In order to address food insecurity in our community, Benton House has partnered with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to establish a community food pantry. The Food Pantry takes place in Benton House’s Pearse Gymnasium and newly renovated Ramova Room, at 3034 S Gratten ave.
Distribution occurs on Fridays from 12 Noon until 2 pm for individuals and families in the Bridgeport neighborhood. We serve people within the following boundaries: North- Chicago River, South – Pershing/39th Street, West – Ashland Avenue, East- Canal Street.
Our resources allow us to give families one full box of food per month; items including, but not limited to: fresh produce (fruit & vegetables), meat, bread, grains (pasta & rice), dairy items, and an assortment of canned items . While we do not turn anyone away, it is strongly encouraged to have a valid ID or other proof of residency upon registration. This helps us to know how often folks are attending our food pantry and which areas of the Bridgeport community are being served.
The Food Pantry is volunteer-driven and run. You can be a part of it in many ways:
Thursday afternoons: starting at 1:00 pm, volunteers help set-up the distribution space and to unload our weekly food shipment by sorting/stocking food items.
Fridays: from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm, volunteers help distribute food to our food pantry clients, as well as help with the clean-up and breakdown of the distribution space.
For more info – email Foodpantry@bentonhouse.org or call us at (773) 927 – 6420
Food Donations: These are a great way to help us keep our shelves stocked. We accept food donations all year round from individual donors, community groups (Churches, schools, etc), as well as local businesses. Groups with annual food drives during the holiday season are also encouraged to partner with us. Check out our wish list of non-perishable food donations!
Monetary Donations: No matter how small, they can make a difference in a client’s life. Just seven cents can provide a pound of food to a family in need.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD), in conjunction with America’s Second Harvest (now ‘Feeding America’), conducted a national hunger study in 2005, and found that an estimated 25 million people rely on food and grocery assistance provided by network food banks and food rescue organizations. Working poor families, parents of young children, and elderly, are among those who needed food assistance to help make ends meet.
Growing numbers of Cook County residents are relying on food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Of the clients that GCFD serves: 39% of households include at least one employed adult; 33% are children under 18; 10% were 65 years of age or older; and 25% households have at least one family member in poor health.