There are some handshakes you just remember, no? The most memorable are typically on the far ends of the acceptability scale. The dead carps, you remember. The bone-crushers, you remember. Most of the time, though, it’s just a handshake. But, every once in a while you shake a hand, and think, “hot damn, that was a good handshake.”
When Artizone first started and we were looking for partners to receive deliveries so that we could work out any kinks in our delivery process, I called up Lakeview Pantry to see if they would be interested in taking a couple deliveries for distribution to their clients.
I met with Lothar Greski- LVP’s Outreach Coordinator. This man gives a high-class handshake. For those not familiar, Lakeview Pantry began in 1970, when a group of concerned citizens formed “The People’s Pantry of Lakeview”. Hungry neighbors received a 2.5 day supply of food and the organization was entirely volunteer-driven. Fast forward 42 years, and Lakeview Pantry has become much more than just a food pantry.
In the last four decades, Lakeview Pantry has grown into a full-fledged social service agency offering a wide variety of services to Chicagoans living in Lakeview. Its mission is to eliminate hunger in our community by: providing food to fill the basic need of hungry people; increasing the independence of our clients through self-help initiatives and other innovative programs; and raising awareness of hunger and poverty and working towards solutions to eliminate them.
Towards that goal, the pantry’s 15 full time staff members and over 700 volunteers focus on these 4 key areas:
1. Emergency food distribution: Volunteers at two on-site food distribution locations (3831 N. Broadway and 1414 W. Oakdale) distribute a two-week supply of groceries six days each week to more than 12,000 individuals each year. In addition to a two-week supply of groceries, clients can return each week to receive fresh bread and produce to supplement their diet.
2. Home Delivery: Each month, 180 elderly and/or disabled clients receive home delivered groceries from Lakeview Pantry staff and volunteers. The Pantry is conscious about its clients’ dietary restrictions and offer three types of grocery bags: regular, diabetic, and a Heart Healthy option that was introduced in 2011.
3. Bootstraps: Lakeview Pantry’s case management program, Bootstraps, is led by its on-site case manager. Their case manager works with 950 clients each year in many capacities. Clients participate in group activities such as cooking classes, book club, and movie night. Individually, clients work with Lakeview Pantry’s case manager to secure stable housing, find employment, complete job training, or improve physical and mental health.
4. Education and Advocacy: Lakeview Pantry knows that food insecurity is a symptom of poverty. The Education and Advocacy program was created in 2012 to promote effective public and private community and policy initiatives to provide long-term assistance to people struggling with hunger and poverty.
But it’s not just what they do. It’s who they are, both in the community and as people. Lakeview Pantry and all of the people who work there are the embodiment of the Part of the Loop slogan- Helping Chicagoans do Great Things– every single day.
So, from October 1st through the end of December Lakeview Pantry is Artizone’s Part of the Loop partner.
You know the drill: Artizone has donated $1000 for the Part of the Loop kickoff.
When you place your order on Artizone.com, and checkout as you normally would, just click on this little box before you hit submit. No, addtional money, no “add $1 if…” Just order as you would and check a box.
For every 250 orders with that little box checked that we get in the quarter, we’ll write another check.
Starting now and as we approach the holiday season, let’s help Lakeview Pantry buy thousands and thousands of pounds of food for Chicagoans in need.
Shake on it?