This morning, members of the Itasca Runners Club and their families spent a few hours helping at the food pantry, sorting food, stocking shelves, and learning about the incredible work that the Ministry and food pantry do. The Itasca Food Pantry is one of the beneficiaries of the Club's annual Itasca Oktoberfast 5K, the Club's flagship event held every October. Proceeds from the event allow the Club to support several local charities, providing both monetary and tangible item donations to those organizations who give back to the community. Recently, the Club was able to provide a Sub Zero freezer to the food pantry, giving them more space to keep meats and other frozen goods that they provide to their clients.
|Volunteers tour the room of stocked shelves|
A newer offering by the food pantry is the Birthday Bag program. Launched just a few months ago, the food pantry assembles bags filled with items to help make birthdays special for children aged 1-13, including a cake mix and frosting, candles, table cloths and other decorations, and age appropriate gifts. All of these items are donated to the food pantry, and parents can choose a bag for their child, already sorted by age and gender. The food pantry believes that every child should have something that makes their birthday special, even something as seemingly small as a festive table. Today, the food pantry provides bags for 70 children in their client families.
|Helene presents the Birthday Bag |
program to volunteers
|Father and son, working hard|
|Dan and Mark filling crates|
|Jim stocking shelves|
|Teamwork at its best|
|These kids worked hard!|
|Club members learning about|
the Walk-In Ministry
|The food pantry presented the Itasca Runners Club|
with a certificate of appreciation for their
continued support of the food pantry's mission.
|Members of the Itasca Runners Club.|
|Club members and |
I will be the first one to admit that our family does not volunteer nearly enough. When you hear the stories of families who spend years donating to the food pantry, only to find themselves later needing the pantry's services, it is inspiring to witness the work that the women and men who run the pantry do for their community. Through generous donations from the community, as well as partnerships with the village, local food stores, and a regional food bank, they are able to provide a vital service to the community. In today's world, none of us ever knows if or when we might need a service like this one, and it's nice to know that it is there when emergency assistance is needed.
Have you volunteered lately? Do you know where your local food pantry is? Call your local village hall to learn more about the health and human services that they provide to your community.