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More used food pantry during the holidays : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
More used food pantry during the holidays
Over 800 area families were served; 200 more than in 2012

by Tony Scott


More families were served by the Kendall County Food Pantry over the holidays this past year than in the previous year, its director reported recently.
The Food Pantry moved into a new building last year at 208 Beaver St. in Yorkville's Fox Industrial Park, close to their old location.
Maria Spaeth, the pantry's executive director, said the organization served more than 800 families over the holidays, an increase from the holiday season of 2012, when they served approximately 600 families.
Spaeth said the increase is "a reflection of where we're at."
She praised those who donated to the pantry and helped out to serve those in need.
"I was really impressed with how the community came together and provided for us this year," she said. "I was a little concerned this year because our numbers have continued to rise, and I was a little worried if we were going to be able to handle that number of individuals. But it was phenomenal."
Spaeth said the pantry gave out hams for Christmas and turkeys for Thanksgiving.
"And we worked together with the Junior Women's Club and our clients received gifts, so it was really a nice Christmas," she said.
In addition to the usual hardships felt by the community, approximately 1.3 million people across the United States lost unemployment benefits at the end of the year. The loss was the result of a compromise budget bill passed by Congress in December that did not include an extension of benefits.

717 in Kendall County
lost unemployment benefit
According to the House Ways and Means Committee, 717 Kendall County residents, and 81,867 Illinoisans, were cut off from unemployment insurance as of Dec. 28.
Spaeth said that during a previous period when Congress considered cutting off unemployment insurance, the pantry was "inundated."
"We were inundated with people who were afraid, and just really concerned," she said. "But we spent the last couple of months talking to people, saying, 'What are we going to do? How are we going to help you?' And I think this year, it's a little different approach - people have kind of come to terms with where they are, how they're managing things. There's not as much anxiety as there has been in the past two years."
She continued, "But don't get me wrong. I still have clients that come through our pantry and are having anxiety attacks."
Spaeth said various organizations in Kendall County are working with each other to help those less fortunate.
"A lot of the organizations that provide resources in this community are reaching out to each other, and we're going, how are we, as a community, going to meet this growing need?" she said.

Donations needed
Those wanting to donate to the Food Pantry can do so using a red door marked "drop off area" any time, day or night, Spaeth said.
Along with donations of food and gently used clothing, bedding, shoes, coats, towels, and small household appliances, the Food Pantry accepts monetary donations. For every dollar donated to the pantry, it can obtain $6 worth of food from the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
However, Spaeth discouraged donors from leaving electronics at the Food Pantry. Instead, they should be sent to an electronics recycling center, she said. The Yorkville Public Works Department accepts electronics recycling during operating hours, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the city's website.
For more information or to make a monetary donation, visit the pantry's website at

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