The Orland Township Food Pantry, which provides emergency food to residents in need of immediate assistance, now has triple the capacity and a dedicated entrance for residents as part of the Township’s ongoing efforts to better serve the local community.
The renovated Food Pantry was formally launched on Wednesday, June 1 with a ribbon cutting and grand re-opening celebration.
“We wanted to find a way to assist our fellow citizens who have fallen on hard times,” said Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady. “We want to reach out and help our neighbors and that’s the purpose of the Food Pantry. With the renovation, it’s better and stronger than ever.”
The Food Pantry assists more than 300 families every month by providing donated non-perishable items, frozen and refrigerated foods, and bakery goods. In recent years, it has served more middle-aged residents – many downsized from corporate jobs and no longer eligible for unemployment benefits – in addition to the single moms and others trying to balance a job and care for their families.
The Food Pantry was founded in 1983 and consisted then of some shelves and a small refrigerator with non-perishable food items. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Supervisor O’Grady and the Orland Township Board of Trustees, and with assistance from local donors, the Food Pantry has expanded to approximately 14,000 square feet.
The updated facility also features a walk-in cooler and freezer, new delivery and service doors, a loading dock, and a backup generator to keep it fully operational during a power outage.
“It’s our privilege to do our part to help enhance and enrich the lives of area citizens – at no additional cost to taxpayers,” Supervisor O’Grady said.