Fighting Poverty – Food Pantry Visit: God’s Hand Ministries in Harvey, IL

Since my spouse has yet to receive his last two unemployment checks, I suggested that we go and get some stuff from a food pantry. I figured, if  we were pro-active and procured our food at the pantry, we could use the unemployment checks to pay our larger bills – mortgage, utilities, etc. – when we get money.

So today, we went to the CEDA on Pulaski and they gave us a list of places that have food pantries, soup kitchens and other types of assistance.

We missed the pantry hours at several locations because we had morning appointments – bankruptcy lawyer and prosthetist. After we completed our errands, we went to God’s Hand Ministries Bible Church of Reconciliation, 117 East 154th Street, Harvey, IL 60426. They are open on Tuesdays from 1pm-3pm. Phone: (708) 331-4009. Their boundaries of service, according to the list I found online, are residents of 60426 but I don’t think they verify residency.

I sat in the vehicle with the baby while my husband went inside. I reminded him to tell them he needed food for a family of four. (I am still amazed that there are 4 of us.) He returned fairly shortly with a paper grocery bag. Quick and simple.

Here are the details I gleaned from interviewing my spouse and observing from the vehicle:

Enter the church from 154th Street. There is street parking and a small parking lot on the side of the church. When you enter the church, you’ll need to check in and then head downstairs to the basement where you sign-in. Yep, just go with it. After that, you will get a bag of food. My husband informed me that everyone was nice. I was glad to hear it.

Here’s what we got:

  • Two bags of bread – loaves (4 total, 2 medium and 2 small) that looked like they were from a bakery.
  • Hamburger buns with sesame seeds
  • 3 small zucchini
  • A bag of corn flakes cereal – approx 3-4 servings
  • Sour cream – medium sized container, dated November 25, 2010. According to http://www.stilltasty.com, an unopened container of sour cream is good for 10-14 days after the date on the package but do what makes you feel healthy and safe.
  • Azteca Mexican Rice – 4 packages, pre-cooked, frozen. There was more than one flavor and they contained beans, rice, meat, roasted tomatoes and ancho chiles. http://www.aztecafoods.com/products_mealessentials.html
  • Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt – (1) 6 oz container, dated 12/07/2010.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Plums in light syrup
  • Cut greens beans – can dented

I will say that I was hoping to get butter, eggs and milk but I think we have to wait until we get SNAP, WIC or some help from friends to get those things.

I suggested that we eat the bread tonight with spaghetti so it doesn’t get too hard and that we eat the yogurt and sour cream asap since they are both past quality date. I think we should eat yogurt for breakfast tomorrow and make chicken taco casserole with sour cream in the next day or so.

So far, I give this pantry a thumbs up. Once I get back on two feet, I’ll go in myself and see what other services they offer. I’ll keep you posted!

Hope this helps.

-csh