A year after the Hillside Food Pantry opened its doors, it is serving more than 6,000 people per month. A member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Hillside Food Pantry works to provide fresh food and friendly service.

Food Pantry director Maiya Lueptow says she sees the need increasing. “Most of our patrons are struggling families with one or two incomes, but they still cannot afford to feed their families. 

We have no income or residency requirements for patrons, nor do we require any affiliation with our church or any similar organization,” she said. More than 80 percent of Food Pantry volunteers are from the local community; the other 20 percent come from the church itself.

A number of local organizations have stepped forward to help with food supplies, financial support, and donations of time and service. While many organizations have contributed to keeping the pantry supplied, the church is running out of space.

 “We have been blessed to receive donated food from many sources, but we are struggling to serve this many people with our present building. …

We’re looking to double the number of people we
can feed, but we’ve reached the limit of how much food we can pick up and store at our current facility. We plan
to double the size of the pantry facility,” Ms. Lueptow says.