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Food Pantry Feature: Share Food Share Love

March 15, 2022
Jamie McCarthy
Photo by Kenneth Johnson

 

Each month we chat with food pantries that have signed up with AmpleHarvest.org and share the conversation here. It’s a great way to learn more about the kind people behind food pantries in your community. Plus it’s a great reminder to encourage gardeners to share their abundance this upcoming growing season.

Interested in having your food pantry featured? Contact [email protected]

This month we are thrilled to highlight Share Food Share Love in Brookfield, IL.

What is your name and how many years you have been involved with the food pantry?

My name is John Dumas and I have been with the Pantry since its inception in 2015.

What can you tell us about the community you serve?

We serve over 15 communities in the Brookfield area. The population is quite varied from the affluent to those who struggle to make ends meet. We serve people of all ages including children, seniors, veterans, and those employed, unemployed and underemployed.

How did you first get involved with the pantry you manage?

I had been intrigued with food insecurity and the fight against it since a visit to the Greater Chicago Food Depository with a church group in the early 2000s.

Can you share an inspirational story or memorable experience about the food pantry and community your serve?

We had a gentleman come in who had lost his job, had three young children and a wife dealing with MS. They had literally no food in the house and he didn’t know what to do. He happened to come across our website and came to the Pantry. We helped him with food, some medical supplies and we even had a few toys left over from Christmas that we were able to give him. We were also able to give him a few leads on job opportunities and some potential health services for his wife. Seeing how much he was struggling was humbling and being able to help someone facing so many challenges made it all worthwhile.

What would you like to tell gardeners in your community about the food pantry?

We constantly get comments from our clients about how thrilled they are to receive fresh produce. It is something they don’t expect and they truly appreciate it.

Fresh produce is an important offering for our clients.
(Photo by Kenneth Johnson)

What is something you wish your community knew about your food pantry?

That we are open to everyone and are always well-stocked.

How can your community continue to support you?

Donations of any kind are the key to our survival and for those who aren’t able to donate, there are always volunteer spots available.

How important are fresh produce donations to your food pantry and what is requested most by your clients?

Our clients LOVE to get fresh produce. They don’t expect it and are always so pleased when they find out we have it. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn on the cob are the requests we get most often.

Anything else you would like to share?

I hope that gardeners realize how important their donations are to those who can’t afford to feed their families and how much it means to them.  Your donations really make their day and bring a big smile to those who often don’t have much to smile about.

Learn more about Share Food Share Love Pantry on their website.

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