The Food Pantry is open each week Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
11:00am - 2:30pm and Wednesday 11:00am - 1:00pm
The Historic Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry is one of the largest in Springfield, feeding more than 5,800 families and 13,000 individuals in 2016 – a more than 30 percent increase over clients served in 2015.
The Pantry has been in operation for over 40 years, growing from one volunteer dispensing food every 90 days, funded by the Church Council, to 60 volunteers who provide services four days a week with financial support from a cross-section of our community.
We assist people in emergencies based on referrals from human services agencies like Contact Ministries and Fifth Street Renaissance, as well as schools, churches and government agencies. Each family may receive assistance once every 30 days.
The Pantry is managed by an all-volunteer board, operated solely by volunteers, and relies entirely on donations from the congregations and members of Grace and other churches, other individuals in the community, and an increasing number of community organizations and businesses. There is no paid staff and no government funding -- all donations go directly and solely to purchasing food. Grace Lutheran Church provides significant in-kind support, including space, utilities, custodial services, and parking.
Shelves in the Pantry -- which is located in the basement of the church with a separate entrance on the northeast side of the church -- are stocked continually, and various food items are stored in other areas of the basement. Food items are purchased primarily from the Central Illinois Food Bank, supplemented by purchases from local grocery stores and significant donations from several churches, schools and other organizations. We are pleased to draw volunteers and donations from across the community and across numerous organizations, with most from our sister ELCA Lutheran congregations, St. John’s and Peace, as well as Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and School, and Franklin Middle School.
Two major initiatives of the Pantry in the last two years have been to improve the nutritional value of the food we provide by buying more fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products and to expand our funding base further into the community and beyond. Spurred by a seed grant from the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we were able to provide healthy food sacks to 700 children while they were out of school in the summer of 2016. In 2016, we received major financial support from the Ameren Cares program of Ameren Illinois, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, the Butler Community Endowment Fund, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Domestic Hunger program, the Springfield South Rotary Club’s annual citrus sale, the annual Springfield/Chatham CROP Walk, Chili’s restaurant’s Give Back program, the annual Land of Lincoln Barbershop Chorus ice cream social, the sale of 175th anniversary cookbooks at Grace, and Nicoud Insurance’s annual Ultimate Drive for Hope campaign.
The foodstuffs and other items given out by the pantry are meant to supplement a family’s needs. Persons may receive bags once every 30 days.
Items provided for a family generally include the following:
The following items are provided when available:
Families of more than three receive larger quantities of these items.
The Facts Behind Senior Hunger