Last week my friend Carol Platt, the special events coordinator for the Algonquin – Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry, invited me to join her to give me a tour of the renovated facility where the pantry would be moving to very soon. She told me the story of how this facility and the community of volunteers have made this all possible.
I asked a friend where it was located. Her directions indicated the old horse riding facility. As I drove up I couldn’t believe that it was located AT the beloved horse riding farm that I would pass all the time on Pyott Road. The parcel of land belongs to the Village of Lake in the Hills and the Village is working closely with the Pantry. The Village uses half the building for storage and the Pantry uses the other half to store the food to give to the ever increasing clients.
The Pantry is paying for all the renovations to the pantry site. Craftsmen have been volunteering for months – YES, volunteering their time and their talents – to create a space that is dignified for the clients it serves. I ran across a wonderful story of the volunteers on The Good Men Project written by freelancer Jennifer Complanik titled “Men Behaving Nobly”. Craftsmen, who were unemployed, donating their time to make sure this facility was completed for those in need.
Her story is moving especially when she asked the craftsmen what unemployment felt like to them. “One man, a father of eight, acknowledged that unemployment “eats up your savings, puts a strain on marriages.” Another man choked up a bit and said it made him feel “kind of worthless.” Yet another reported: “It hurts your mind … your pride.””
The Pantry is a supplemental service for those in dire need. The board of directors of the Pantry have done an amazing job at serving their clients. They have built relationships with residents, businesses, local governments and schools to assist in whatever way they can. They have made out community stronger with their presence.
This facility provides enough land to also have herb gardens, vegetable gardens and orchards. Those who love gardening will be assisting to raise much needed fresh foods for the clients.
The community has come together to help their neighbors is the real story that the leaders of the Algonquin Lake in the Hills Food Pantry want you to know. It’s the good news story of our community.
Love where you live.