By the end of 2011, more than 17,000 individual families will have received food from the Care Center at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL. But at the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas), guests get something more because Willow provides turkey with the trimmings for 12,000 local families in need.
At the conclusion of each weekend service on November 19 and 20, the congregation will participate in a meal-packing event, assembling boxes that will be handed out prior to the holidays,” said Heather Larson director of Willow’s Compassion & Justice ministry. “Many of us look for opportunities to serve under-resourced families during the holiday season, and there is something significant about standing side-by-side and serving our community together as a united church family.”
The Greater Chicago Food Depository and its Pantry University program
honored standout member agencies during the food bank’s annual conference
for Cook County’s food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Willow Creek
was one of nine pantries honored with a Quality Performance Award.
Standards of Excellence
The food banks’ fourth annual awards recognize standards of excellence
among emergency food providers in Chicago’s local communities.
Five key areas of judging included categories for: financial, processes, staff
and volunteers, clients, and community. Standards for excellence among food
pantries were developed and validated with the help of 30 expert pantry program operators who conducted a rigorous evaluation process of member pantries.
Willow’s Food Pantry Changes Hunger to Hope
The Care Center and Food Pantry, a ministry of Willow Creek, is supported by
donations from the church congregation and partners. They offer emergency food
relief to the hungry in our local neighborhoods and guests receive more than food. “Hunger brings people in the door, but we provide additional care, resources and
services to them,” said Care Center director Josie Guth. “Above all, we exist to
share the love of Christ with those God brings to us.” While visitors to the food
pantry are up 60% over last year, Willow Creek continues its commitment to
change hunger to hope.
Supported by the Year End Fund
Willow Creek’s Food Pantry receives donations through this year’s Year End
Fund. For details, visit willowcreek.org/prepare.