CHICAGO — A local mother of five who couldn’t stop thinking about children going without the basics during the COVID-19 pandemic decided to take action.
Every Monday and Friday volunteers at the Christin Life Church Food Pantry fill as many boxes as they can with basic necessities for families during this trying time.
“We unload everything, get boxes and go around the circle and fill the boxes as much as we can,” said Jenn Schmidt, Christian Life Church Food Pantry.
On Wednesday, they filled 50.
“People who had never wanted to be in this position, thought they’d be in this position — now are all of a sudden asking for help,” said Jodi Bechtold, founder of The Kid’s Pantry.
She calls them “kid boxes.”
And the requests are coming from all over the area.
“Someone came from South Elgin today, someone from Melrose Park, someone from Woodstock. People are driving an hour just to get a box of food and diapers,” said Bechtold.
There are no applications or proof of need, Bechtold knows that — for a parent — just reaching out for help was hard enough.
“We had one mom message us that she had a baby. She actually had three t-shirts that she had made up and then pinned together to make a homemade diaper and then was rotating the three shirts,” she said.
The kid boxes are packed with enough to carry a family through another week.
“They’re just in this limbo. No cash to be spent on diapers. Things that are necessities, but if you can’t buy them, you can’t buy them,” said Bechtold.
Bechtold said she brings at least one of her five kids to volunteer at The Kid Pantry every week.
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