Share Food Share Love Food Pantry, an agency of the Greater Chicago Food Depository that has operated out of the basement of a Brookfield church since its founding in 2015, will open the doors to its new location later this month.
On Nov. 8, village trustees voted unanimously to approve the food pantry’s special use permit to operate out of a warehouse at 9030 Brookfield Ave., a move that will afford more room to store food for its roughly 250 clients.
The food pantry distributes food to those in need twice weekly, on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the food pantry has distributed pre-packaged bags of food to clients outside of the small basement space of Faith Lutheran Church, 3801 Madison Ave.
John Dumas, the administrative director of Share Food Share Love Food Pantry, said the food pantry’s last distribution day at the church will be Tuesday, Nov. 23. The food pantry be closed on Saturday, Nov. 27 and then reopen in the new Brookfield Avenue location on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.
A condition of the special use permit is that Share Food Share Love Food Pantry will not be allowed to use the alley that runs behind the warehouse and abuts single-family residences for any reason.
There had been some concern that deliveries and distribution would occur in the alley. However, Dumas said the food pantry did not intend to use the alley, because there was ample parking for clients in the 9000 block of Brookfield Avenue along the railroad right of way.
In addition to a front door leading to a waiting area, there’s an overhead garage door in front that will allow for easy delivery of food to the pantry. Share Food Share Love Food Pantry is leasing about 5,000 square feet of the 7,000-square-foot warehouse, with plans to expand into the remainder in the future.
The food pantry also intends to purchase the warehouse property from its owner, Main Holdings Inc, which has owned the building since 2009.
Although the warehouse sits in the SA-6 zoning district, which calls for residential development, it is one of several light industrial buildings that have stood for decades along that stretch of Brookfield Avenue.
Earlier this year, the village board amended the zoning code to allow those buildings to be used for non-residential purposes if ownership changes.
Share Food Share Love is associated with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and serves communities in suburban Cook County, including Brookfield, Countryside, Forest View, Hodgkins, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Lyons, McCook, North Riverside, Riverside, Stickney, Summit and Western Springs.
While the food pantry was founded by members of the Faith Lutheran Church congregation it has since become an independent nonprofit with its own board of directors.
More information can be found at their website at sharefoodsharelove.com.