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Roseland’s Sheldon Heights Food Pantry fighting hunger for over 40 years: ‘They make sure you got enough’

CHICAGO (WLS) — A bustling pantry that got its start in the basement of the Sheldon Heights Church of Christ in the Roseland neighborhood has been helping those in need for 44 years.

“I’ve been coming 13 years and you can’t beat Sheldon’s,” said Rose Lucas. “You’ve got a lot of pantries out here but they really care and they make sure you got enough.”

The Sheldon Heights Food Pantry sits next door to its namesake church near 113rd and Halsted on the Far South Side. It’s a client choice pantry, which means community members get to pick and choose the food they need.

“This is more like a small convenience store shopping experience, versus somebody walking up and being given a box or a bag of food,” said Eric Clark, Director of Sheldon Heights Food Pantry. “We like the approach that we have because it makes people feel more relaxed.”

Led by an all-volunteer staff, the pantry is sourced almost completely by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Customers are also guided by a nutrition ranking system called SWAP, or Supporting Wellness at Pantries.

SEE ALSO | Inflation taking toll on food banks as more Chicagoland families face hunger

“If you notice, our vegetables are first because we want people to get the fresh fruit and vegetables,” said Clark. “Also the rest of the food is structured in a way, and labeled so that individuals know which foods are the best and healthiest for them. And the lowest are the ones that are not the healthiest and we have them marked red,” said Clark .

The pantry is located in Roseland but serves more than 200 neighbors from all over Cook County, with three food distributions a week.

“We have our senior citizens that might be on fixed income, we have young families with lots of children in the home, and then we even now have seen an uptick with young people overall, all of them feeling the pinch of inflation,” said Clark.

“I have put groceries back, because I don’t have enough money to pay for it all but this helps to come and get the things, and they have a lot of things to offer,” said Lynda Norwood.

If you’d like to help one or all of our local food banks this holiday season, text ABC 7 FEED to 50155, or head to abc7chicago.com/feedthelove for more information.

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