Our Opinion

The neighborhood has been overwhelmingly supportive of charitable causes during the COVID-19 crisis, and the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry continues to be a wonderful institution that remains worthy of donations.

Located inside Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., the pantry has been a community staple for 37 years.

The pantry usually serves people in the 60643 and 60655 ZIP codes, but during this public health crisis, when other pantries throughout the city are closing, citizens from outside the community are invited to utilize this local resource.

The pantry welcomed about 1,500 hungry people in both March and April, about triple the usual number of monthly visits.

According to reports, dozens of pantries in the Chicago area have closed in recent weeks, making the Maple Morgan Park Pantry even more important for Chicagoans.

Two community drop-off events were recently held there, and cars lined up to donate food items and money. Volunteers were waiting outside and took items directly from vehicles so as to maintain social distancing. Inside, volunteers stocked the shelves.

Karen Overstreet, the pantry’s executive director, said recently that items such as dry goods, baby food, baby diapers and fresh meat are needed—especially with a meat shortage in the city.

Beverly Bakery, 10528 S. Western Ave., is hosting its own food pantry and plans to donate some of the items to the Maple Morgan Park Pantry if products remain at the end of this crisis. The bakery has also supported a local effort to deliver food directly to people downtown living with homelessness.

Neighborhood blocks in our community have also united to provide vital donations for the local pantry during drop-off days.

All lives matter, and staff members of all food pantries are to be commended for working hard for those less fortunate than they are, especially when their own lives have been affected by the coronavirus.

Churches continue to be restricted from hosting traditional services with traditional attendance, and opponents of those restrictions deserve empathy because religion plays an important role in people’s well-being, including their mental health.

However, church-goers can live out what they learn through their faith by performing good deeds such as supporting food pantries.

The Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry is open Tuesdays and Fridays, from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information or to help, call (773) 239-3013.