St. Bridget Food Pantry

St. Bridget parish has a food pantry.  We distribute food to those in need twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 4:00-6:00 PM.  A few facts:

  • We have well over 1,000 families in or data base that have come at one time or another.
  • More than 1/2 of our families have one or more persons over the age of 55 living in the household
  • 2/3 or more of our families have children under the age of 18
  • 2/3 or more of our families live in Loves Park or Machesney Park, with the other 1/3 coming from all around the region.
  • Last year we gave away over 120,000 lbs of food.  This was given to feed 4,188 families or over 12,000 people, at the cost of $22,756.

How can you help?

Donate Food: Especially peanut butter, tuna, beans, cereal, and canned fruit.  Fresh fruits and veggies on the day of distribution are also greatly appreciated.

Donate Personal Care Items: Soap, deodorant, Toilet Paper, Diapers size 3-5 especially, Kotex, Tampons, dish and clothes soap, tooth paste, tooth brushes, hair care products, razors.  All of these items cannot be purchased with food stamps and therefore are frequently requested.

Donate Money: We purchase most of our food through the Northern Illinois Food Bank at pennies on the pound. An example: a company like Kraft may donate 1,000 cases of a food item to the food bank.  The bank in tern gets it to us, however we have to help pay for the shipping costs.  So for example this past month we got several cases of name brand ranch salad dressing for 6 cents a bottle.  Other food items we purchase through the food bank are bought in bulk and so we can purchase them at cost, so again the savings is great.

Want to Volunteer?

Pantry Distribution: Volunteers are needed from 3:30 - 6:30 PM to welcome guests and assist them in getting their food to the car.  We need willing and joyful spirits, who can walk a lot and lift at least the weight of a bag of groceries.

Pantry Baggers:  Volunteers are needed to help bag the groceries for distribution.  Baggers work from 2:00 -5:00PM on the Tuesdays of the week before pantry.  Workers need to be able to stand and work, lift a box of food id necessary, climb a short step ladder and do it with great JOY!

Pantry Setup Team: Volunteers are need to help get ready for pantry the day before.  While one group goes to the Food Bank to pick up bread and other items for distribution, another group sets up tables and brings items out for distribution the next day.  These volunteers work from 10:00-12:00.

Truck Team:  On the second Tuesday of the month the  NIFB truck delivers or order at 2:00.  The shipment is received and frozen items are stored away in freezers.  Volunteers are needed to assist with this process.  Later that evening at 6:00 more volunteers come and put away all the rest of the items.  Strong backs and JOYful spirits are required. 

Contact Deacon Phil Abel