U.S. Congressman Robert J. Dold (IL-10) spent Monday morning visiting local food pantries to raise awareness about the growing need in the 10th District. Dold visited The ARK in Northbrook and the Wheeling Food Pantry.
"Hunger is a need that knows no zip code," said Dold. "Many people throughout our communities go hungry because of the struggling economy. All too often people are having a difficult time making ends meet because they are unemployed or underemployed. With rising food prices and tightening family budgets, food pantries are seeing an increased demand and I want to applaud those in our community who are volunteering their time to make a difference."
"Since The ARK was founded 41 years ago as a free medical clinic, we have witnessed the unfortunate spread of poverty in the Jewish community, first in Chicago and now in the suburbs. Congressman Dold's visit to The ARK Northwest, our newly opened center in Northbrook, demonstrates his awareness of the economic problems facing so many of his constituents, and the importance of keeping the community informed about available services," said Dr. Marc Swatez, Executive Director of The ARK. "The ARK served 3,700 clients last year. The number of people turning to The ARK for help has increased by about 5% each year for the past several years. Approximately one-third of these clients live in the north or northwest suburbs. Since its opening in August, 2011, The ARK Northwest has served 400 clients from 150 families by providing food, rent and utility assistance, and prescription medications, as well as transportation to the Medical, Dental, and Eye Clinics at The ARK's main location in Chicago."
"We are open 4 hours every weekday so that those in need can stop by for help," said Jim Bradley, Community Service Coordinator at Wheeling Food Pantry. "Along with the food from our three partners Wheeling District 21 Middle School, St Joseph the Worker Church, Wheeling High School and various other generous donors, our two other partners, the Village of Wheeling and Omni Youth Services provide Resource Specialist, trained licensed social workers, one of which is always on our premises during our hours of operation to help those less fortunate. Our mission is to try to help those in need, in some way, with their financial, physical and/or emotional problems so that they may lead normal, self sustaining, independent lives. There are reasons behind why someone is hungry. It's about more than food."