Helping Families with Children
Across DuPage County, more than 74,000 people don’t have enough to eat – 32,490 are children. In November 2016, HCS Family Services opened a pantry at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School in Willowbrook to better serve families with children in our community.
For parents like Tricie, whose husband is a supervisor at a national transportation company, but whose employer has limited his hours to part-time, the food pantry at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School is a lifeline for their family.
You see, when there’s not enough money to cover all the monthly household expenses, families are forced to decide which bills get paid each month. Rent, utilities and gas in the car to get to work are often first considerations. That means there’s often little, if any money, for food.
The family has visited HCS Family Services in past, but after their second car broke down, getting to Hinsdale has been a challenge for the mom of four.
“Having a pantry at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School is very helpful. I can walk there,” Tricie told us.
Thanks to the support of our generous donors and volunteers, moms like Tricie know their children will always have access to milk, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables and other nutritious foods they need to grow physically and intellectually.
Burr Ridge Community Consolidated School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Schneider sees many benefits in having a school pantry at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School. “If a child is hungry, that student isn’t going to learn,” he said noting that children who are hungry have difficulty concentrating and are absent more often.
Eight years ago, Jonathon was looking at a bright future. A week away from his 21st birthday, he was athletic, had a girlfriend and a bunch of close friends, and was five months away from graduating with a bachelor of science degree. Then, a horrific accident changed everything.
His family says it was a miracle he survived; his heart had stopped four times as doctors worked to save him. After weeks in a coma, it took years for Jonathon to learn to walk and talk again. Because he needed around-the-clock support, Jonathon’s mother quit her job to care for him. She now also cares for her ailing mother.
Without income, credit cards are maxed, medical bills mount, and Jonathon’s mom worries about how she’ll pay their increasing property taxes.
But thanks to the support of donors like you, Jonathon and his mom don’t worry about going hungry. They are grateful for the variety of meat, fresh produce and other foods HCS Family Services offers them.
Jonathon and his mom also look forward to their visits to HCS Family Services for another reason: the friendships they’ve made. In many ways, their mobile pantry visits are a social outing that allows them to forget about their troubles for an hour or two.
“It’s more than just the food, it’s therapy,” said Jonathon, who, is retaking his college courses one at a time to earn his bachelor’s degree.