About Us

Mission

The purpose of the Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry is for the charitable distribution of food for the relief of hunger to our neighbors in need residing in the communities surrounding us, including Elmhurst, Addison, Bensenville, Berkeley, Hillside, Lombard, Oak Brook and Villa Park.

Food Procurement

We procure food from a number of sources:

  • Purchases through Northern Illinois Food Bank (approximately 10,000+ pounds per month at a cost to EYFP of over $1700.00 per month).
  • Federal grants through NIFB (over 2,000 pounds per month).
  • “Food Recovery” (Direct Connect) operations with both Jewel/Osco stores in Elmhurst. Added to our recovery operations in FY 2016 were the Ultra Food Store in Lombard and the Target in Villa Park. Total recovered food in FY 2016 was in excess of 160,000 pounds.
  • Volunteers shopping for hygiene/cleaning products and pet food – over $500.00 per month (These items are not available from the NIFB or able to be purchased by food stamps – SNAP)
  • A generous grant from the estate of an individual has allowed us to provide 48 gallons of milk each week to families with young children.
  • Generous regular donations of food/hygiene/cleaning items and pet food from individuals, groups and congregations within Elmhurst and the surrounding communities
  • Larger food drives organized by Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at Elmhurst College, local Postal Workers and other businesses, groups and organizations.
  • Many food drives by local Girl Scout, Boy Scout troops and other youth organizations and churches and community organizations.
  • Young children requesting food donations vs. birthday gifts (we love these kids!)
  • Total of donated food (not including Direct Connect recovery) for individual group donations and drives for FY 2016 was nearly 70,000 pounds.

Trends

The Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry (EYFP) was started in 1983 by concerned people at Yorkfield Presbyterian Church who saw a need to help hungry people in their own backyard. It started in a walk-in closet at Yorkfield Presbyterian Church as an infrequently used resource serving approximately 25 people each week at that time. It has grown continuously, moving to the 600 square foot basement of the “cottage” facility at 1083 S. York Road in 1998. In 2012, the organization moved to re-incorporate as an independent not-for-profit in the State of Illinois. In February, 2014, 501(c) (3) status through the IRS was granted.

Following a two-year capital campaign, ground was broken on August 11, 2015, for a new, 2,500 square foot facility that enables the EYFP to better serve more clients with the ability to increase the efficiency of service to our clients, to respect client’s dignity and safety, provide a warm and welcoming waiting room, to become a more ecumenical organization and to recognize our service to multiple communities. In excess of $900,000.00 in cash and gifts in kind were raised through donations by individuals, businesses, corporations, service groups and faith based communities.  The new building opened debt free to our clients on January 2, 2016.

The Pantry now distributes food to clients three days a week during four shifts, 52 weeks a year. Families may shop for food from the Pantry as often as monthly in a “client choice” model. Our clients range from those who have recently lost their jobs, those who are chronically unemployed, those who are underemployed and elderly retirees living exclusively on modest Social Security checks or other fixed income. During the fiscal year 2016, the EYFP was visited by 867 families, including 379 new clients. Among clients served were over 500 minor children each month.

In its effort to provide hunger relief, the Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry provides nutritious groceries, produce, meat, dairy, bread, non-perishable products, cleaning/hygiene and pet food to local families. The Pantry currently distributes over 350,000 pounds of food each year to clients.

During the fiscal year 2016, 791 volunteers accrued 11,340 hours to help feed our hungry neighbors. The number of volunteer hours continues to increase every year. The value of that donated labor during fiscal year 2016 was over $95,000 at minimum wage, and that does not include volunteer leadership time for the Board of Directors.

There is no paid staff at the Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry. There is a volunteer Board of Directors, which meets at least monthly, composed of two co-directors, a secretary, a treasurer and members at large.  Members represent the Yorkfield Presbyterian Church community and the greater ecumenical community. These leaders also run all operations of the EYFP, including volunteer coordination, food drive coordination, sorting/date checking/stocking of food after food drives and food recovery, community outreach, etc.

Pantry partnerships with other local agencies are strong and growing.

The Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry is grateful for a robust volunteer cadre from the local communities. We are also indebted to many volunteer fiscal and food drive efforts.