First Food Pop Up at Mt. Zion distributes 14 pallets of donated food

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Bonus pop ups scheduled for Friday, April 30, 10:30am and 12:30pm

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 29, 2021) – “Let’s have some fun!” posted Betty Burley on the Mt. Zion United For Life (UFL) Ministries Facebook page. Burley serves as secretary at Mt. Zion. “Starting WEDNESDAY every WEDNESDAY @10:30am,” the post continued, “there will be a food pop up here at Mt Zion.” The first Food Pop Up event happened Wednesday, April 28, in the parking lot of the ministry center at 2340 177th Street. Volunteers gave away over 14 pallets of food.

Mt. Zion is a religious organization that is determined to be a blessing in the community, says Pastor Juan Leon. The Wednesday food pop ups are the most recent addition to a list of practical outreaches that includes a micro pantry that recently expanded into a pantry mall, and two Farmers to Families food drives.

To extend the church’s reach further, Burley reached out to Illinois Partners in Hope, a New Lenox-based nonprofit whose mission is “to provide a service to local charities to support the goal of feeding the hungry.” Partners in Hope gathers donated items from a variety of companies and then distributes them to a variety of charities, who then distribute them to their communities. Burley explained that Illinois Partners in Hope delivered the pallets of food items on Wednesday morning, lining them up in the church parking lot.

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A semi loaded with pallets of giveaways arrived from Illinois Partners in Hope on Wednesday morning. (Photo: Betty Burley)
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The pallets were placed along a path circling the Mt. Zion parking lot. As cars drove through, volunteers placed items in their trunks. (Photo: Betty Burley)

The items are somewhat random, generally provided by large companies who deal in massive quantities. The April 28 event included cases of hummus from Wild Garden, boxes of Keto-friendly chips from Hilo Life, bags of frozen bread dough from Gonnella, cartons of liquid eggs, boxes of bath tub safety handles, Farmers to Families boxes containing a variety of groceries, and other assorted foods. “Also a few extra goodies the local community closet brought over,” added Burley.

WildGarden Hummus Dip was one of the surprise foods given away at the Mt. Zion Food Pop Up on Wednesday, April 28. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Each pop up event will feature different items, based on what donations are received by Illinois Partners in Hope in a given week.

Though most of the food pop ups are a weekly Wednesday event, Mt. Zion has scheduled two bonus pop ups this Friday, April 30, at 10:30am and 12:30pm.

Mt. Zion UFL Ministries is located at 2340 177th Street in Lansing, Illinois. More information about donating, receiving, or volunteering is available from the church office: 708-394-3555.