New Trier Township Food Pantry Sees Increase in Need

The pantry expects to serve 1,000 more people this year.

Although New Trier Township is often ranked among the wealthiest areas in the U.S., the township’s food pantry expects to see an increase in demand this year.

“By end of this fiscal year, we will probably serve 1,000 more people than we did a year ago,” said Debbie Van Solkema, communication director for New Trier Township.

The food pantry expects to serve more than 4,500 people in the fiscal year 2013, which will end in February 2013. In the fiscal year 2012, the food pantry served 3,655 people, according to township data.

Donations Needed Year-Round

At New Trier Township Food Pantry, 739 Elm St., Winnetka, there are usually enough donations to meet needs over the holiday season. It’s the rest of the year that staff are more concerned about.

“We are grateful for the support over the holidays but we would also like to remind residents that the need remains year round,” Van Solkema said.

With five months left in the fiscal year 2013, Van Solkema says the food pantry will have to do more to seek donations during non-holiday months.

“In February, March, and over the summer months are when the food pantry finds that we have to do more marketing and remind the community to remember the food pantry.” 

Food Pantry Wish List

Offering fresh fruit, meat and other food groups that keep families health, the food pantry serves an average of 390 people per month. As of Sept. 30, the food pantry has already served 2,732 people, Van Solkema said.

The food pantry keeps a “Wish List” that is updated regularly on its website. Check out New Trier Township Food Pantry Wish List, via this link:www.NewTrierYownship.com/Get_Involved/Pantry_Wish_List.

 The following items are currently needed:

  • cereal
  • paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex)
  • canned fruit
  • healthy snacks (cookies, crackers, granola bars, breakfast squares)
  • laundry detergent
  • cleaning supplies
  • canned meat (tuna, chicken, salmon)
  • canned tomatoes
  • canned chili 

Established in 1965, New Trier Township Food Pantry is open to qualified residents who live in the villages of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe and portions of Glenview and Northfield.

Food Pantry Relies Mostly on Donations

Eighty percent of the pantry’s items are donated and the other 20 percent is purchased with a budget of between $20,000 to $25,000 according to Brian Leverenz, community services administrator for New Trier Township.

Regular donors include The Grand Food Center and several anonymous donors, according to Van Solkema.

There are several ways residents can help the food pantry, either by donating food, participating or organizing a food drive, volunteering at the food pantry or helping to spread the word.

For more information, visit: www.NewTrierTownship.com.

Related Coverage

  • New Trier Township Food Pantry Restocked for the Holidays
  • Winnetka Nonprofit Helping Families One Baby at a Time

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Malta November 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM
The economy continues to deteriorate ; despite the political propaganda of the current administration....."real" unemployment about 15%. 45 million people on stamps ; triple the amount of people on social security "disability " During the obama administration! national debt in the trillions! and ever increasing government income "redistribution" programs.....and as this story points out thousands in our area dependent on food banks....seems the liberal democratic " great society" programs haven't worked out so well.....


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