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Lansing Community Food Pantry recaps year of generosity

Despite difficult year for many, donations abound

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (November 11, 2020) – The Lansing Community Food Pantry held its annual meeting Tuesday, recapping the accomplishments of the year and sharing thoughts about the future.

The Lansing Community Food Pantry is located in the basement of the Lansing Assembly at 2990 Ridge Road, and has been serving the Lansing community for about four decades. The pantry is open every Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for Lansing residents in need.

The Lansing Community Food Pantry is located in the basement of the Lansing Assembly, 2990 Ridge Road, Lansing, Illinois. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Tuesday’s meeting

The Annual meeting started with prayer before committee secretary Barb Lessner read last year’s minutes, which were approved. Lessner continued and said during all of last year, she sent 137 thank you notes to supporters. This year, however, she has already sent 197 thank you notes. “It was so gratifying to know that people recognize what we’re doing here and want to support us—especially during these difficult times,” she said.

Lessner reviewed the pantry’s policy of splitting regular food recipients up into two groups which receive food on alternating Tuesdays. Lessner said pantry visits from January through October of 2020 totaled 1,513.

Lansing Food Pantry
Judy Nearpass (right) and Barb Lessner (left) do pantry inventory in 2017. Lessner said she had already written 60 more thank you notes this year than she had all of last year. (Photo: Katie Arvia, 2017)

Treasurer Elaine McGrail reviewed the finances for the pantry’s last year. The Lansing Community Food Pantry received nearly $60,000 in donations over the last year, and spent spent over $30,000 on groceries and supplies over the same period. Other expenses for the organization included a stipend to the Lansing Assembly for use of the facilities, expenses for the pantry van, and others.

Pantry co-chair, and 20-year pantry veteran, Karen Adams then led the small crowd through re-election of officers before discussing plans for the holiday season, including potential participation in the Village of Lansing’s Fox Pointe holiday events.

Adams ended the meeting by thanking the volunteers present. “I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have you guys show up week after week, working like crazy in this crazy time that we’ve had. We have so many volunteers we just haven’t seen come back, and I totally understand that but you guys are here and you do what has to be done. … So I just thank you. It makes it a pleasure for the officers, we just don’t have to worry ‘I wonder if we’ll have enough people,’ there’s always enough people. Maybe not very many but enough. So thank you all so much,” she said.

Pantry co-chair Karen Adams (left) speaks with representatives from We Win Foundation at the Lansing Community Food Pantry in May of this year. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

“With God’s blessing and everybody’s support in this supportive community we’ve been able to stay open every Tuesday during COVID. That took a lot of planning and praying … it’s been a lot of transitions but I just think it’s awesome we’ve been able to stay open,” Lessner commented.

Get involved

In addition to speaking generally about the need for volunteers, Adams said there was a particular need for someone to fill a “carry-out” role. Those in need of food or other essentials are invited to stop by the pantry between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. For more information about the pantry, call Karen Adams at 708-895-3807 or visit the pantry’s Facebook page.

The Lansing Food Pantry is located in the basement of the Lansing Assembly, 2990 Ridge Road, Lansing, IL.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.