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February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

I've been a volunteer for about 5 years, and very much enjoy my work with the pantry. The camaraderie between the volunteers, the staff and the clients is terrific. That atmosphere also helps to turn what could be a demeaning or stressful experience for our clients into something positive. The client choice program that we began this past fall allows our clients to decide for themselves what food they take home; no more one-size-fits-all bag of groceries.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the difference we make in the lives of our clients.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a bigger facility in which to house it.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

I am a donor and my family members are volunteers. I am at the pantry fairly regularly (several times a month) for distributions of food. The thing that I find most striking is the level of politeness and courtesy exhibited by the volunteers. It can be a harried, fast-paced environment at times and there are always people new to the process, whether volunteers or those in need. It can be confusing and so many are trying to do so much in a small space and limited amount of time.

Yet without fail, I hear the common courtesies, which were once so common but one never hears anywhere. Please, thank you, any time, how can I help, may I get that for you, no you go first, etc. are constantly heard with actual feeling behind them.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing people leave with bags full of food and been able to confidently refer people in need of their services.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it bigger with more to distribute.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

Every Thursday about 11,000 lbs of food is delivered. Within 2 hours the goods are sorted, packed, and shelved. Very little free space. A satisfying point of my week.

7 days later the room is nearly empty. The cycle continues. It would be nice to think that one can break the cycle but I am
not sure how. So for the moment I'll help the cycle continue because 1100+ families are helped

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...the numbers served. I started when there were about 100 families. We're up to 1100+

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

-

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

no

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

gratifying

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

I've been an active volunteer with the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry for 8 years. When I started, we operated out of a tiny storefront, with 8 volunteers on Saturday mornings. It was a dark, cramped space. A big Saturday meant servicing 40 individuals/families. Since then, the need has grown tremendously, and the pantry has grown to accommodate. It changed locations (tripling the space), expanded hours and days of service, and underwent a dramatic shift in operation (Client Choice), enabling it to better serve the growing clientele (now averaging about 200 individuals/families on Saturday, plus additional weekday/evening hours). It is clean, efficient, well-staffed, and, as a client-choice pantry, allows each family/individual to personally select the foods they take home with them. Less waste= happier clientele. Happy clientele=happy volunteers.

Communication with volunteer staff is regular, clear and consistent. We feel deeply connected to the Food Pantry, and appreciated for the work we do. This is an organization that never stands still and is constanty improving. I'm immensely proud of the work the pantry does, and happy to be part of this amazing group.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

direct contact with families who regularly express their gratitude for the work done by the pantry.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None, at the moment.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

The Food Pantry provides hunger relief to over 28 zip codes in Chicago and the western suburbs which includes some of the regions most depleted neighborhoods. My husband and I began volunteering with the Food Pantry along with our children as a way to get involved in our community. I became a Board Member as I learned more about the Food Pantry's efficient operation, stalwart leadership and broader mission to connect the hungry to additional support services, provide educational programs in the community and advocate on behalf of hunger-related issues. This is a tremendous organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching the program evolve to more compassionately and respectfully serve the hungry via a "client choice" food delivery model that allows clients to select some items. This delivery model also decreases waste and improves efficiency in food purchasing.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

figure ways to make the broader community aware of the good work being done by the Food Pantry in an effort to increase volunteerism as well as donor support.

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