Hope Presbyterian Church, Wheaton, honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In July 2008, Hope Presbyterian Church, Wheaton, decided to adopt a local food pantry as a focus for a church-wide mission in which they could make a continuing, positive difference.  Ten-and-a-half years later, they continue to be part of the 2,500 People’s Resource Center (PRC) volunteers who serve to make a difference in the lives of many families in DuPage County.
 
During Martin Luther King week, eleven folks from Hope Presbyterian (Hopers) worked on Wednesday, January 23 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in various capacities:  Check in worker, Intake workers, Walker, Helpers to distribute the food (meat, bread, produce) birthday bags for children, diapers, and milk, as well as parking lot attendants. People’s Resource Center (PRC), with locations in Wheaton and Westmont, was founded in 1975. 
 
People’s Resource Center exists to respond to basic human needs, promote dignity and justice, and create a future of hope and opportunity for residents of DuPage County.  It is a not-for-profit, multi-service organization with the largest food pantry in DuPage County.  Families are eligible to come to the PRC Food Pantry twice a month and fill their grocery carts with enough food to last 5 to 7 days.  In 2018 , 2.8 million pounds of food filling 38,707 grocery carts was distributed to families in need.  These families are offered nutritious food, including fresh produce, frozen meats, canned food, bread, and other basic necessities.
 
In 2018, over twenty-five Hopers and friends of Hope volunteered at the PRC Food Pantry at least once, every week.  Hope volunteers worked every Wednesday evening the PRC Food Pantry was open.  Hopers work side by side with four PRC employees and volunteers from the community at the Food Pantry.  Since many of the PRC clients have day jobs, they appreciate being able to come Wednesday evenings, the only evening the Food Pantry is open to help serve the working poor.
 
On Wednesday evenings in 2018, there were 504 volunteer slots filled by Hopers and 3,010 DuPage County families were served.

               Weekly Average number of Hope Volunteers: 11
               Weekly Average number of Households Served: 66

Hope’s commitment to supporting PRC’s Food Pantry is not limited to Wednesday evenings. Every week, Hopers bring food items, paper goods, diapers, and clothing to the church for PRC. Financial gifts are also given.
 
This work is coordinated by Hope Presbyterian’s Relating Beyond Hope (Mission) Committee: Elder Kurt Parent (Chairperson), Merikay Huszagh, Duane Ness, Pastor Jay Moses, Wayne Pretzer, Tara Schreiner, Carol Urban, and Mike Wolfe.

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