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Frequently Asked Questions

Patrons
FAQ's for Food Pantry Patrons
Where is the food pantry located?

2704 W. 98th Place, Evergreen Park, IL 60805 We are located in a retired firehouse at the corner of 98th Place and Washtenaw.

What are the operating hours for the Village Pantry Coalition Food Pantry?

The pantry is open to the public for distribution on Fridays from 9:30 AM until Noon.

Do I just drive up?

Our distribution line feeds in from the north so it is easiest to approach from 98th Street on Washtenaw Ave.

Who can receive food at the Village Pantry Coalition Food Pantry in Evergreen Park?

The Village Pantry Coalition in Evergreen Park proudly serves all of our Evergreen Park neighbors, regardless of race, religion, immigration status or any other factors. Anyone who provides proof of Evergreen Park residency and meets the income limitations will be served. Proof of Evergreen Park residency includes a valid photo ID (Illinois Driver’s License or Illinois ID, Passport or Consular ID) additionally you will be asked to provide one of the following to show proof of current (issued within 60 days of date on document) Evergreen Park residency (current utility bill, lease, cell phone bill, PADS ID, a medical bill, auto insurance bill or a bank statement. For food assistance, all clients living in Evergreen Park are subject to income restrictions. Your household’s gross monthly income must be within the guidelines established by the Illinois Department of Human Services for their family size. Because of our contractual obligations with the Greater Chicago Area Food Depository, we are obligated to serve non-residents of Evergreen Park once every 12 months.

What is it like to visit the Village Pantry Coalition Food Pantry for the first time?

You’ll find that our volunteers are kind and welcoming. No one should be embarrassed or ashamed about seeking out food assistance in their time of need. Many people who experience food insecurity – a lack of consistent access to nutritious food – find that it is a temporary situation. We all have our own challenges. Everyone needs a little help in life, and everyone is welcome at our programs.

What kind of food will I get?

You can expect a mixture of fresh food and packaged food. Common items patrons may receive include produce, rice, pasta and pasta sauce, breakfast cereal, oatmeal, canned items, dry beans, bread, peanut butter and jelly. All distributions rely heavily on donations and food items will vary on any given day.

How often can I pick up food?

All Evergreen Park Residents are able to receive groceries once a week. The pantry is open to the public for distribution on Fridays from 9:30 AM until Noon. Non-Residents of Evergreen Park are served one time every 12 months.

What can I do if I can’t get to the Village Pantry Coalition Pantry when it is open to the public?

Any person listed as a member of your household can come to the pantry to pick up food distributions as long as they have the required documents. If no one from your household is available to pick up food, you can designate an individual to act on your behalf. This individual must have a completed proxy form and client identification in order to pick up household food.

Will the Village Pantry Coalition share my information with other agencies?

No. The Village Pantry Coalition respects your privacy. We have been assured by the Greater Chicago Area Food Depository that data collected by the “Link2Feed” software that we are required to use to record patron visits (which includes information about your household, income level, or other topics) will only be used in aggregate. Your information is secure.

How is the Village Pantry Coalition working to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The Village Pantry Coalition is working hard to meet the need for food while protecting public health. For the safety of our volunteers and patrons, our pantry is a drive-up operation. Patrons are asked to remain in their vehicles while our volunteers load food into the trunk of patron vehicles. We ask our patrons to be sure that their vehicle trunks are clear enough for our volunteers to place the food into the trunks. If not, our volunteers will place patron food into grocery carts and which will be placed somewhere nearby for the patron to load their food themselves into the passenger compartment of their vehicle. Expect to maintain social distancing while waiting for food.

Donors Volunteers
FAQ's for Donors and Volunteers
What types of items does the food pantry need donated?

Non-Perishable Items Sweet Breakfast Cereals, Grape or Strawberry Jelly, Peanut Butter, Canned Green Beans, Canned Corn, Canned Peas, Canned Mixed Vegetables, Baked Beans, Canned Kidney Beans, Canned Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), Canned Tuna, Canned Chicken, Catchup, Mustard, Salsa, Relish, Pickles, Salad Dressings, Chocolate (Coco) Mix, Pancake Mix, Syrup, Cake Mixes & Frosting, Flour & Sugar, Holiday Food Snacks/Stocking Stuffers, Snacks Type Items, Cookies and Peanuts Other Essentials (found at Dollar Tree, Savers, etc.) Bar Soap, Deodorant, Laundry Detergent, Toothpaste, Toilet Paper

When and where can I drop off food donations?

Food donations can be dropped of at the pantry on Wednesday and Friday mornings between 8:00a.m. and 10:00a.m. The pantry is located at 2704 W.98th Place. We are located in a retired firehouse. Food donations can also be dropped off at the Office of Citizen Services, 3450 W. 97th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805. The Office of Citizen Services is open from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday thru Friday.

How can I make a cash donation?

Donors wishing to make cash donations to the Village Pantry Coalition can either drop-off their cash donations at the pantry at 2704 W. 98th Place on Friday mornings between 8:30a.m. and 12:30p.m.. We are located in a retired firehouse. If Friday’s do not work for our cash donors, your cash donations can be dropped off at the Office of Citizen Services, 3450 W. 97th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805. The Office of Citizen Services is open from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday thru Friday. The Village Pantry Coalition is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization (EIN 36-3249079). Donations to the Village Pantry Coalition are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. Please consult your tax advisor for further information.

Can I just write a check?

Yes, we graciously accept donor checks. They should be made payable to “Village Pantry Coalition” and mailed to Village Pantry Coalition, c/o Office of Citizens' Services, 3450 W. 97th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805. The Village Pantry Coalition is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization (EIN 36-3249079). Donations to the Village Pantry Coalition are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. Please consult your tax advisor for further information.

Is my donation tax deductible?

The Village Pantry Coalition is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization (EIN 36-3249079). Donations to the Village Pantry Coalition are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. Please consult your tax advisor for further information.

Who will benefit from donations made to the pantry?

Individuals and families who are residents of Evergreen Park and who are in need of food or emergency financial assistance will benefit from food and financial donations made to the Village Pantry Coalition.

How do I volunteer to work at the food pantry?

Call us at 708-629-8526 or email us at epfoodpantry@evpkadm.org.

How old do you have to be to volunteer at the food pantry?

Volunteers from 1st grade and up can volunteer at the pantry if the under 18 liability waiver form (which is available on this website) has been completed by their parents or legal guardians. Individuals 18 and over who wish to volunteer at our pantry must also complete the adult liability waiver form (which is also available on this website). Both the adult and minor waivers are very explicit regarding the potential dangers of working at the pantry if extreme caution is not exercised.

What kinds of things will I be doing as a volunteer at the food pantry?

Volunteers can expect to eventually do some or all of the following activities as they become familiar with our organizational operations. Package grocery bags with dry and canned goods, repackage bulk produce items into smaller bags, prepare meat bags for distribution, fill boxes with bulk food items, milk, eggs & bread, produce and hygiene products, place packaged food items into patron cars, clean freezers and refrigerators, maintain general warehouse cleanliness, put up and take down traffic control barriers on distribution day, website maintenance (computer skills needed), develop & maintain social media accounts, patron intake computer work, manage food and toy drive activities with various community groups, bookkeeping and general office work (computer skills needed), grant writing, fund raising activities and place monthly food orders, participate in our food rescue program with local grocery stores, purchase groceries, when necessary, for our weekly distribution and receive food deliveries at the pantry warehouse.

Financial Donors
FAQ's for Financial Assistance Donors
Can I make a donation that will only go towards individuals that are seeking financial aid?

Yes, you will be asked to designate whether your donation is to be applied toward food, financial assistance, or both if paying electronically. If paying by check please note how you would like your donation to applied (food, financial assistance or both) either on the check memo line or attach a note to your donation check stating how you would like your donation applied. Checks should be made payable to “Village Pantry Coalition” and mailed to Village Pantry Coalition c/o Office of Citizens' Services, 3450 W. 97th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805.

What types of emergency expenses will my contribution cover?

Generally, we try to offer emergency financial assistance to Evergreen Park residents to cover items such as utilities or emergency household repairs to help our patrons stay in their homes, if financially prudent. We also try to offer emergency auto repair assistance so our patrons can get to work. There could be other types of financial assistance we would consider providing depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case.  We do not provide emergency mortgage or rent assistance. Our resources are too limited for expenditures such as these.

Can I just write a check?

Yes, we graciously accept donor checks. They should be made payable to “Village Pantry Coalition” and mailed to Village Pantry Coalition, c/o Office of Citizens' Services, 3450 W. 97th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805. The Village Pantry Coalition is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization (EIN 36-3249079). Donations to the Village Pantry Coalition are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. Please consult your tax advisor for further information.

How can I offer my time or resources to this operation?

Call us at 708-629-8526 or email us at epfoodpantry@evpkadm.org. With regard to offering your time, we are particularly seeking volunteers with technical skills, business skills, fundraising and/or grant writing skills, mechanical skills and warehouse skills and who demonstrate the ability to work well with our other volunteers and who are devoted to serving the needs of Evergreen Park residents who are in need (with dignity). In time, as you begin to better understand our operational activities, you may be tasked with the responsibility of overseeing certain areas within the organization which fit your skill set (if this is what you want). With regard to offering other resources, we need help getting our message out, so public relations support including social media services would be most welcome. Does your business, health care operation, school, social welfare organization, etc. often see Evergreen Park households struggling with unexpected costs or food insecurity? If so, please reach out to us so we can provide assistance. If you are a business with excess inventory (food, clothing, personal hygiene products, etc.). We would gladly offer acknowledgement on our website to local businesses who continually actively support or efforts in helping our needy Evergreen Park neighbors.

Is my donation tax deductible?

The Village Pantry Coalition is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization (EIN 36-3249079). Donations to the Village Pantry Coalition are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. Please consult your tax advisor for further information.

Financial Applicants
FAQ's for Financial Assistance Applicants
Who can receive financial assistance?

Evergreen Park residents who prove to be in need after furnishing required documentation and who have gone through the emergency assistance process outlined on our “Financial Assistance” page. Please refer to the steps set out on our “Financial Assistance” page (beginning with the Office of Citizens' Services) before contacting the Village Pantry Coalition.

What kind of financial assistance is offered?

Generally, we try to offer emergency financial assistance to Evergreen Park residents to cover items such as utilities or emergency household repairs to help our patrons stay in their homes, if financially prudent. We also try to offer emergency auto repair assistance so our patrons can get to work. There could be other types of financial assistance we would consider providing depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. We do not provide emergency mortgage or rent assistance. Our resources are too limited for expenditures such as these. Additionally, any assistance granted is paid directly to the utility or vendor. There is a process for our residents to follow in order to maximize the potential emergency assistance they receive. Please refer to the steps set out on our “Financial Assistance” page (beginning with the Office of Citizens' Services) before contacting the Village Pantry Coalition.

Is there a maximum dollar amount that I can apply for?

There is no maximum dollar amount that can be applied for. Hopeful recipients should understand from the beginning of the emergency assistance process that we are a relatively small charity with limited resources. Additionally, we will only be able to provide support to a family in need one time in a 12 month period as there are many families in need in our community.

Can I get aid to pay from my rent or mortgage?

We do not provide emergency mortgage or rent assistance. Our resources are too limited for expenditures such as these.

What kind of questions will be asked during the application process?

We will ask you about your household, how long you have been a resident of Evergreen Park, how many people are living there, their ages and birthdates. We will discuss expenses and income sources, employment, leasing information and why financial assistance is needed. Documentation will be requested and is required to be approved for assistance. There are no income restrictions to qualify for emergency assistance from the Village Pantry Coalition. Additionally, any assistance granted is paid directly to the utility or vendor.

How long does the process take and when will I see funds?

Between working through the Office of Citizens' Services (as set out in our “Financial Assistance” page) and finishing with the Village Pantry Coalition, the entire process will take 7 to 10 days.

Why do I have to bring in documents to receive emergency assisstance?

Documentation is a requirement of most emergency assistance programs and for grant funders, and is needed to properly discern a request for assistance. It is important to understand there are limited funds available to provide emergency financial assistance and a growing need in the community for it.

Will the Village Pantry Coalition share my financial information with any person or organization?

The Village Pantry Coalitions would only share patron financial information with any person or organization with the permission of the patron applying for emergency assistance and if it was necessary to obtain more assistance for the patron.

Still Have Questions?
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