For over 30 years Ignatian Services has reached out to our neighbors in need at Thanksgiving. This year Ignatian Services served approximately 65 people lunch with all the trimmings. Our guests were treated to a scrumptious dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberries and gravy along with a choice of apple or pumpkin pie. Our guests were thrilled to have apples, pears and oranges in their doggy bags as they left the dinner. The fruit was provided by the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University. Guests were also serenaded by our local violinist, Rudy Hasspacher. He played a selection of his favorite Bach offerings. Each year the cost of the dinner is underwritten by generous donations of the parishioners and a variety of community partners.
This fall season Ignatian Services is pleased to welcome the seventh and eighth grade boys from Hardey Prep to work in our food pantry. Twice a month they will come on Tuesdays to help unload our food delivery and stock the shelves for the following days outreach. The young men will also coordinate the annual food drive conducted by the school. Each year Sacred Heart and Hardey Prep food drive donates over 2,500 pounds to our food pantry.
The Northside Catholic Academy will also be sponsoring a food drive for the food pantry. The Student Council officers will choose from an assortment of special holiday items to collect. Officers will deliver and stock the food pantry prior to the busy Christmas season.
A new community partner this year is the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing from Loyola University Chicago. They will be donating an assortment of fresh fruits for our guests at the annual Thanksgiving Dinner. In the past the school has offered their time by having the nursing students do some basic health screening. This is the first time they have branched out to help fund part of Thanksgiving dinner.
We grateful for the support of all our partners young and old.
The 30th Annual Hunger Walk was held on Saturday, June 20th and St. Ignatius was well represented. It was a cool overcast morning that greeted the walkers at Soldier Field. The Greater Chicago Food Depository estimates that over 15,000 people joined in the walk to end hunger in our community. Our team was lead by Fr. Jackson captain. We welcomed for the first time walkers Brent Barker and Doug Cousino. Returning walkers included: Sr. Mary Catherine Beckman, Pat Kenny, The Koziol Family: David, Cristina, Philip, Lydia and Isabel, The Mac Laughlin Family: Alfredo, Mercedes, Cata and Alfie, Kathy Morris, Star Santiago, Marie Tarallo, Mary Taras and Sue Taras and mascot Drago. At the starting gate we were all together but then paired off in groups that set their own pace. Many of our fellow walkers thought they were seeing double as twin sisters, Lydia and Isabel went past! Congratulations to Sr. Mary Catherine who was the first to finish in our group. At the end of the walk as we made our way back to our cars we were a little tired but also contented in knowing that our efforts will help our food pantry feed the needy in our Rogers Park community and Chicagoland.
The food pantry has gone paperless. With the support of the Greater Chicago Food Depository the food pantry has moved into a computer intake process. The new procedures enable us to keep better track of our clients, their needs and our resources. It also speeds up the interview process.
We continue to partner with the Sacred Heart School. Twice a month the seventh and eighth grade boys come to work behind the scenes to get the pantry ready for distribution. They will be working with us during a Wednesday distribution in May to meet our clients. Each year Sacred Heart School conducts a food drive that results in our largest food donation. (Approximately 3,500 pounds of food.)
In early April, the food pantry took delivery of a new 21.0 cubic foot freezer. The Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) accepted our request to replace our old freezer. We are grateful for our partnership with GCFD in our mission to help our neighbors in need. A few weeks ago we heard from the former director of Ignatian Services, Dawn Depa. She gave us the history of the old freezer. Back in 1985 when the Bears won the Super Bowl there was a grant opportunity for area food pantries and soup kitchens. The opportunity was called ´The Super Bowl Shuffle.` Dawn submitted a grant for a freezer and it was accepted. So for the last 30 years it has been working to store food for our pantry clients. That makes the freezer in a sense our longest serving volunteer! We are hopeful that our new freezer is as long lasting!
Ignatian Services is the social service expression of the Faith Community of St. Ignatius Church in Rogers Park. Its purpose is to provide assistance to those members of our neighborhood who are in need. Ignatian Services does not discriminate. The primary ministry of Ignatian Services is the distribution of food through our food pantry. We strive to develop new programs to help the disadvantaged members of our community to lead healthy lives-- body and soul. Together, out volunteers, benefactors, parishioners, and clients form a community.
This is why we say that WE ARE ALL IGNATIAN SERVICES.
Throughout the year we supply our families with an assortment of core food items to meet the needs of their families. On Thanksgiving Day we provide a traditional turkey dinner for the community. Our guests include those unable to cook for themselves or those wanting to share a meal with others. In December, our food pantry clients receive special holiday food baskets. These baskets take into account the diversity of our community and include traditional and ethnic specialties of the season. Ignatian Services also partners with Catholic Charities to sponsor our Christmas Giving Tree. Generous parishioners and neighbors donate new toys for over 200 needy children; ensuring that these children have a brighter holiday season.
In 2013 our food pantry served 5,531 individuals that represent over 800 different families. On average we serve 185 families a month, 461 individuals. Our clients are given the opportunity to choose the items that will best suit their family`s tastes. These items include but are not limited to: rice, beans, pasta, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, peanut butter, jelly, yogurt, eggs, cereal both hot & cold, canned tuna or chicken, powdered milk. The amount of food given to a client is dependent upon the size of the family. Each month we distribute approximately 6 tons of food.
Ignatian Services has many fundraising drives throughout the year, and we accept donations of non perishable food items, diapers, toiletry items soap, shampoo, toothbrushes), and plastic grocery bags year round. Your financial support is also always needed!
A donation of $140.00 enables us to purchase a ton of food (2,000 pounds) at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. A contribution of $70.00 will buy a half of ton. No donation is too small; $12.00 will buy a case of peanut butter; $58.00 will buy 36 gallons of powdered milk. We appreciate your support.
37% are children or teens
17% are senior citizens
On average, 925 individuals are served each month
Over 6 tons of food are distributed each month
Want to make a donation, or just have a question about Ignatian Services? Please contact Kathy Morris, Director of Ignatian Services.