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Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 1

I was offered an opportunity to participate in a once a month home delivery. This is not an "entitlement" program, one must qualify as I did.
After a few months I received a telephone call from my case manager that they had received a call questioning my eligibility as I walk my dog , drive a car and, why I am eligible with a "temporary" disability.
I contacted the food pantry speaking with various individuals and, getting various versions of who had made the call.
I know one person, a volunteer at this pantry with whom I had a falling out over a petty matter and, have not spoken to in over a year. I have had an encounter or two during this past year and, this person doesn't speak and, turns away as though they do not know me. This person knows I have a dog, a car and I fractured my femur. Any volunteer making a delivery would only know I have a dog.
I know this person is responsible and, it was a malicious personal attack. Why would I be singled out and, by people who do not know me?
I walk my dog not only as a necessity but, as part of therapy to rebuild my leg and hip muscles and, this walk consists of usually one block. My car which, I purchased new in 2003 basically sits parked only used if, I am in need of groceries or a prescription which, at the most is perhaps once a month. The mobility in my knee has been greatly reduced due to the trauma and, it is very difficult to drive. Also, a "temporary" disability must be based on their assumption that it was "just" a broken leg. I was transferred to a trauma center requiring internal fixation, blood transfusions, months in bed and then physical therapy. My disability is permanent not temporary. Also, I have had two surgeries this past year for breast cancer which, they would have no knowledge of.
My complaints regarding this matter have been met with denials of any malicious intent, excuses and, basically that staff and volunteers have been spoken to.
I feel this volunteer who crossed the line making calls that were not their responsibility and, none of their business should have been removed. What is this person saying about me and, perhaps others.
I have serious concerns about privacy with this organization. I believe as a volunteer or staff they will protect you but, as a client you are unimportant and, disposable.
I requested twice to speak with this organization's board and, that request was ignored, never addressed in any manner. I finally sent an email to the Board of Directors President asking the date, time and location of the next board meeting and that was ignored. I then sent an email to the Executive Director asking for the same information and received a terse response that the meetings were not open to the public and, they would have no further correspondence with me regarding this matter.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Everyone on staff is laser-focused on fulfilling the mission, and they do it in the most professional and compassionate way. Clients who visit the Pantry go away with almost 50 pounds of protein rich, nutrient dense food and their dignity intact. It is a pleasure to be associated with an organization so effectively engaged in helping our neighbors in need.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I offered to join the board because of my interest in and work in food. I assumed a new 501(c)3 organization would need board members. I then started volunteering on distributions, food rescue and deliveries. Now, as vice president, I help recruit new members to the board. The pantry is a great agency with a dedicated staff and hundreds of volunteers. Our clients are well-served and treated with dignity.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a board member and occasional volunteer. I have been impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers and their genuine empathy for the clients. The client choice model is efficient and affirming.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started coming with my teen-agers for service credit. It was such a great experience, that I now attend without them. But it is a very popular place to volunteer, so plan ahead in case there are too many staffed volunteers that same day! It is a lovely, dignified exchange between volunteers and clients.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

OPRF Food Pantry is one of the best pantries in Cook County, now serving 1400 families every month. The pantry offers full, client-choice service to its clients, along with nutrition programs, benefits counseling, and food stamp (SNAP) application assistance. The staff and volunteers are inspiring people--working consistently above and beyond the call to provide superior service to our client base. The pantry serves not just the near west suburbs, but most of the west side of the city, and counts on hundreds of individual donors. But we need more support, especially from our corporate and foundation partners, to keep our services strong.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to Oak Park this apst summer and was thrilled to get involved in the community by volunteering at the Food Pantry. The other volunteers are so much fun to work with, and it is a joy to serve our clients.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a volunteer with and donor to the OPRF Food Pantry becuase it addresses a basic need for many area families in an efficient and respectful manner.

The OPRF Food Pantry leverages its resources extremely well in the following ways:

- Clients can select their food just as in a supermarket, receiving meat, dairy, fresh and canned vegetables and fruit, pasta, PB&J, snack foods and toiletries.
- Information about other forms of assistance is provided to clients, as well as dietary and menu planning help
- Pantry offerings are efficiently procured by leveraging funds for food purchases from the USDA and Greater Chicago Food Depository, 'rescuing' day-old (but still perfectly fine!) produce and baked goods from area grocery stores and taking in food donations
- The Pantry is effectively overseen by a volunteer Board and small paid staff, who coordinate all the operations and recruit/organize a large stable of volunteers

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

me a satisfying sense of doing something specific to assist. I plan to volunteer as long as I am able.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I worked at the Food Pantry for a number of years before joining the Board. I agreed to joi the Board because OPRF Food Pantry is not only providing an absolutely needed service in the community, it does it with caring, friendliness and the ability to make each guest comfortable. The expansion of the Client Choice program is an example of how the OPRF Food Pantry team looks to take any stigma out of needing to use the Pantry. Kathy Russell and her team are absolutely the best!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a very organized group and personally very rewarding to volunteer for. The new shoppers choice system is so excellent as the food recipients are treated as if in a grocery store with a choice of items . This system is more dignified for the recipients. Also with this shoppers choice system I think there is less wasted food as in the past many people received food they couldn't use (due to allergies or diabetes, etc.). Sometimes now a person will just bypass the fruit (for example) if they cannot take the sugar. As a vlounteer you are slotted in a spot when you arrive and become productive right away. There is sufficient training for new volunteers also.

I also enjoy the seasonal give-aways of turkeys or hams with the lottery. My only complaint is that some recipients didn't know they had received the ham/turkey (via lottery). I am not sure if it is the food pantry's fault but a number of people came who did NOT receive the ham/turkey and also many whose names were drawn did NOT show up. Volunteers were on the phone calling those who had not shown up at the last minute. I am not sure how to improve the lottery process.

Review from Guidestar