Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago operates an emergency food pantry located in the school basement at St. Blase Parish in Summit, IL. Due to the pandemic, many people in the surrounding community have lost their jobs and now turn to this food pantry to make ends meet in putting food on the table for their families. Since March, the number of people coming to the food pantry has tripled, with over 4,000 packages being distributed each month.
The Albertine Sisters, who run the food pantry, were in need of volunteers and donations of food, and the St. Laurence HS community responded immediately. Campus Ministry was able to organize two teams of volunteer students, even though school was on summer break and in the midst of isolation due to the pandemic. One team was responsible for preparing and packing food products and the other team was responsible for loading the carts with the care packages and bringing them to the people in need.
In addition to the donation of gift cards from food stores so the Sisters could purchase the most needed food products, the St. Laurence HS community has pledged to sponsor food drives to help support this food pantry and to continue to encourage student participation in volunteering to help those less fortunate.