CHICAGO — For the first time in their history, Common Pantry now have a place that’s completely their own 56 years after doors opened for business.
Most recently, Common Pantry had been operating out of the basement of Epiphany United Church of Christ which is located just a few blocks away in a 1,500 square foot space.
In 2021, with the help of state grants, the pantry purchased the north Lincoln building increasing their square footage to 3,500.
Now that renovations are complete, the new site features a large communal and dining area, a commercial kitchen ideal for their hot lunch program, and a grocery shopping area.
This in top of additional services like job searches, government benefits, services for the homeless and government documentation.
Common Pantry also gained an outdoor courtyard and a volunteer room all to help the pantry provide emergency food and social services to those in need on Chicago’s north side.
“We opened doors in august and it was actually our highest month in the history of the organization. So, we served groceries to 899 families,” Executive Director Margaret O’Conor said.
“45% higher than just last year. And we saw 29% of people who had never been to our pantry before. We attribute that to being on a commercial strip and friendly environment but also think that’s based on the need
Common pantry will host their official grand opening this Thursday. People are invited to check out their services and also see how they can help the pantry and their mission of reducing hunger.