Food Pantry Needs
Donations can be dropped off before or after masses or anytime daily between 7:45am-4pm in Food Pantry bins in the Narthex.
Food Pantry Updates
We are making many exciting updates and changes to our food pantry. Our long term goal is to improve the food pantry to best meet the needs of our neighbors where they are, serve them with dignity, and provide pathways to self-sufficiency. Most of the steps to achieve these goals will happen beginning in May. An overview of each of these changes is below:
Permanent Space: The food pantry has had a small storage space and each month we move everything into the Church Narthex for distribution. We are beginning to permanently move the pantry to the rectory basement and host our distribution out of this space instead of Church. This will allow us to expand our storage capacity, offer client choice, add freezers/refrigerators, and offer weekly distribution to clients.
Extended Hours & Weekly Distribution: We are thrilled to finally be able to offer distribution weekly (instead of monthly) to the clients starting in May. This increases access to food, particularly to working families, by extending hours and dates to open our doors on a more frequent and accessible basis. Distribution will be every Thursday night from 6:00-8:00pm, starting in May. Clients will still be able to come just once a month but will have many more options to come when it is most convenient for them.
Client Choice: This will allow us to shift from pre-packed bags to full choice distribution, encouraging healthy food choices, nutrition, and dignity for pantry clients by allowing them to select the items they wish to receive while also reducing food waste.
Wider Variety of Items: With this new space we will be able to offer meat, milk, and other cold/frozen perishable items. We currently have an onsite garden with 10 raised beds. With the increased space and distribution schedule we will be able to get our homegrown, organic, local produce to the clients more often so less food goes to waste.
Technology: Starting in April, we will switch over our paper registration book to the Greater Chicago Food Depository online client registration system, Food Bank Manager. This will streamline our intake process and significantly improve our capacity to track data.
Volunteers: These changes will shift some of our current volunteer roles while opening up many new opportunities for volunteers, especially during Thursday evening distributions. We will be looking for additional volunteers to help on Thursdays between 5:30-8:30pm. A Sign Up Genius will be used and can be accessed on the St. Cletus website under the Social Concerns-Food Pantry tabs.
All of these changes and updates to our pantry will help us to provide better service to more clients, more often. We will continue to post updates in the Canticle in the coming weeks with more details on each of these components and ways you can help. We encourage you to check back often as we move forward on these exciting updates. Thank you for your continued support of this important ministry.
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
Interfaith Career Network
Interfaith Career Network (ICN) offers job support through various programs throughout the month. For further information, please visit our website at www.interfaithcareernetwork.org.
ENCOUNTER THE RISEN CHRIST
We prayed, fasted and gave alms-and now we celebrate Easter joy! Our Lenten journey with CRS Rice Bowl ends as we encounter our Risen Lord. We reflect on our brothers and sisters we have walked with, and we commit to bringing Easter joy to each person we meet in our daily lives. Don’t forget to turn in your CRS Rice Bowl at the Parish Center or the collection basket. Thank you for your generosity!