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Westmont food pantry increases service hours

Westmont, IL

snapshots.mysuburbanlife.com/1032312 Staff photo by Mark Busch Volunteer M.J. Brenne, of Downers Grove, stocks the shelves Monday June 28, at the People's Resource Center Southeast DuPage Pantry in Westmont. The center has seen demand increase and now will be open 3 days a week.

A Westmont food pantry that serves hundreds of area families each month is expanding its hours to meet an increased demand for its services.

The People’s Resource Center’s Southeast DuPage Center, 645 Blackhawk Drive, announced beginning July 10, the center will be open each Saturday from 8:30 to 11:15 a.m., as well its normal hours of 8:30 to 11:15 a.m. on Wednesdays and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

The increased hours are a way to meet the growing demands of the center, said Melissa Travis, director of food services for the PRC.

“Since the Westmont center opened two years ago, we have had a 100 percent increase in the number of families who use our services,” Travis said. “Because of that increase in demand, we decided to add additional hours that the pantry will be open.”

Then PRC, based in Wheaton, helps DuPage County residents in need not only with food, but also clothing, emergency assistance, housing and social service assistance, and more, according to the group’s website.

Hank Anzelone, site supervisor for the Westmont facility, said he feels that, with the growing amount of people the center severs, just having the pantry open two days a week was not enough. The center serves close to 800 families a month, he said.

But with the increase in operation hours, the center will have an increased demand for more donations and volunteers to help run the center, Travis said.

The pantry provides the families with enough food for about one week, sometimes a little more. Since the PRC asks families only visit once a month, Travis said the pantry cannot completely support a family’s food consumption. The center is a way to help families a little more during their time of need.

“We are always looking for donations and volunteers,” Travis said. “But now, with the additional hours, we will need the help of the community even more.”

But Anzelone does not think that will be a problem. He praised the community for the support given to the PRC Southeast DuPage Pantry.

“I am always amazed at how lucky we are to have a community like this,” Anzelone said. “The donations have been super, and I am proud to be part of this community that cares so much.”

The Westmont center also provides skills for those its serves, with programs such as job placement services, ESL language and literacy assistance, computer training, art classes and more.

“We also work with other pantries in the area to make sure that, even though we ask that families only come by once a month for the food, that they have a list of other pantries they can go if they need help,” Anzelone said.

For more information on the services  PRC offers, donations or volunteer opportunities, call the center at (630) 682-5402.

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