Loaves & Fishes

Due to the struggling economy, there’s increasing demand for services at Naperville’s food pantry, Loaves & Fishes. In fact, this year 2,000 more clients sought help from the charity.

Every week, volunteers at Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry distribute 50,000 pounds of food to 450 families, but as the need for services grows, so to will the charity. Loaves & Fishes is building a 17,00 square foot warehouse and education center to serve the community.

“This will allow use to provide more food to more people,” says Loaves & Fishes Executive Director Charles McLimans.

The facility will increase storage room, and provide a more efficient means of distributing food.

“Our current distribution is a door buster mentality as it takes about half a day to re-gage our shelves,” says McLimans. “The new facility will allow us to stock shelves at the same time the food drives are gong on.”

Loaves & Fishes will also offer free courses in cooking, literacy, and nutrition in hopes of empowering clients.

“With the proper foods and education, there is no way we can’t provide a healthy living for our children,” says Loaves & Fishes client Nicole Justo.

Funds from a community development block grant will help pay for the new facility, which is expected to open in early 2011. Workers plan to increase the food distribution hours from nine to 33 hours per week. The charity is still looking for donations and volunteers to help achieve this goal.

“We invite the community to be a big part of our efforts to end hunger. There are three resources we need; volunteers, food, and financial resources. If the community can help and contribute, we would like anybody to be a part of it.”

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