For several years Ignatian Services has partnered with the Sacred Heart Academy. The seventh and eighth grade boys have been helping at off times to set-up the panty, stock and do other jobs as needed. During the fall of each year the students conduct a food drive for our food pantry. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving they deliver to the pantry approximately 3,000 pounds of food. After unloading the food, they stay to sort and stock the shelves. The day before Thanksgiving is traditionally our busiest day when over 65 families will come to the pantry looking for holiday food and special items.
In March the seventh-grade boys wanted to see the pantry in action. They asked their teachers and principal if they could work a Wednesday at the food pantry. The pantry is open on Wednesdays from 2 until 4 pm, so they were getting out of school but also giving up some of their free time to help. They arrived at 1:30 and began stocking the table for the day. For the next 2 ½ hours they worked greeting clients and helping them choose food. They helped elderly clients up the stairs with loaded grocery baskets. They chose books for the children that came to the pantry. They also stayed and cleaned up and disposed of the cardboard in the re-cycle bin.
This past Lent Ignatian Services conducted a drive for personal care items for the residents of the Bishop Goedert Residence which is located on the grounds of Hines Veterans Hospital. The facility offers low-income housing for veterans over 62. There are 71 apartments in the development. All the residents are on fixed incomes and sometime have trouble making ends meets. During Lent, we collected a variety of personal care items from shampoos and soaps to band aids and cotton balls. We collected over 7 boxes of items that were delivered to the Bishop Goedert Residence this past May. The veterans were thrilled to receive the personal care items and were moved by the generosity of the parish. We hope to partner with them in the future.
On May 10th, 15 friends of the food pantry volunteered at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. We were assigned the task of preparing sweet potatoes for distribution to food pantries and soup kitchens across Cook County. Some of us prepared mesh bags to hold the sweet potatoes in 5-pound bags, some checked the sweet potatoes for freshness and others prepared boxes to hold 40 pounds of sweet potatoes. We worked hard and had fun in the process!
This year’s Hunger Walk was held on September 16th at Jackson Park sponsored by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The walk was moved to September which is Hunger Awareness Month. This year Team Ignatius had 85 walkers, the most ever! A cross-section of the parish volunteered to walk the 5 K route to raise awareness of hunger in our community. We were joined by the Loyola University Women’s Basketball team who were part of our group. The weather was great, and the spirits were high everyone had a good time. This year we surpassed our goal of $9,000.00. Thank you to all who walked or contributed!
After the 10:00 am mass, the parish welcomed members of the Rogers Park community for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. For over 35 years, the parish has hosted a meal for those who may be alone, unable to cook, or provide for their family. This year 110 guests were offered traditional dinner with a choice of pumpkin or apple pie for dessert. As our guest enjoyed their dinners, they listened to the beautiful music of Bach played on the viola by a volunteer. The Holy Name Room had been transformed into a festive harvest wonderland the night before. Our servers during the day consisted of parishioners and community members. We look forward to hosting another dinner next year.
Ignatian Services partnered once again with Catholic Charities to provide gifts to families in need. This year we provided 100 gifts for the Annual Toy Shower. Generous parishioners and neighbors donate new toys for needy children; ensuring that these children have a brighter holiday season.
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 our food pantry supplies our families with an assortment of core food items to meet the needs of their families. 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 salmon, canned chicken. 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.
This year our pantry is on track to serve over 2,200 families that represents over 1,200 different families. On average we serve 195 families that accounts for approximately 500 people a month.
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!
32.5 % are children or teens under 18
17% are senior citizens
Want to make a donation, or just have a question about Ignatian Services? Please contact Kathy Morris, Director of Ignatian Services.