The pantry began in 2020 as an “Out of School Lunch-Box Program” for the community. It provided emergency food support to families with school children, supplementing grocery trips with children’s breakfast, lunch and snack food items.
Today, we offer a once a month drive-thru food pantry to over 100 families, where all food is received, rescued, and re-distributed by volunteers. We also redistribute our food donations to soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries and church ministries within our district on a weekly / monthly basis.
In 2022, it became clear that the pantry was outgrowing its current storage space throughout the church and school buildings. The congregation agreed to explore the idea of expanding the pantry which would include the construction of a new building on Immanuel property.
In winter of 2022, we received grant funding that enabled us to begin the process. The search began for an architect, building manufacturers, and contractors.
In January & February 2023, estimates arrived from Big Buildings, the manufacturer and installer of the pantry building. Budget planning began.
In March 2023, blueprints were purchased and a non - refundable deposit was placed down on the building. We confirmed the building and foundation size by staking / taping off the area. Updated estimates were still needed for electrical, plumbing, solar panel installation and construction of walk-in cooler. Because of the rising costs of everything, especially construction materials, fundraising efforts began.
In April 2023, fundraising began by requesting donations from regular supporters, church members and friends. Realizing that larger funds were needed, we began work on a fundraising campaign.
In early April, Home Depot Foundation agreed to help fund a portion of the interior building materials, such as lighting, flooring, heating, plumbing and insulation, which is a great deal of support.
In late April, concrete permits were applied for after receiving generic engineered drawings. If the Village of Hillside will not use them for permitting purposes, more specific drawings will be needed at an additional $800 fee and can delay our project by three weeks.
Today, even with the amazing amount of support we have already received, an additional $60,000 is needed to complete the building. That amount includes a walk-in cooler for the building.
A new building will free up space for school usage, reduce clutter that food storage has created in the church. It will provide more convenient storage and access to food; making the receiving and inventory of large food donations more manageable. It will allow us to have pantry visitors with less scheduling conflicts with the church and school, equipping us to better serve the community and our ministry partners in Christian love and fellowship.
Please help us reach our goal of $60,000 and donate today. Any dollar amount is appreciated and will help us reach our goal. Thank you!
Please put "Pantry Expansion" in the memo section of your
online donation or check. Please mail checks to:
Put Your Hands Together
Immanuel Lutheran Church
2317 S. Wolf Rd.
HIllside, IL 60162