Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

OAK PARK RIVER FOREST FOOD PANTRY

  • Oak Park, IL
  • www.oprffoodpantry.org

Mission Statement

The Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry's mission is to work together as a community to reduce hunger locally through direct hunger relief services, hunger awareness education and advocacy to influence anti-hunger policy.

Main Programs

  1. Food Pantry
Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

We provide hunger relief to families in 12 zip codes in Cook County including portions of the city of Chicago (Austin, Humboldt Park) and many of its near-west suburbs

ruling year

2010

Principal Officer since 2012

Self-reported

Michele Zurakowski

Keywords

Self-reported

Oak Park, River Forest, Food Pantry, Hunger, Chicago

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EIN

27-2018997

 Number

6307313781

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Direct Service to provide Hunger Relief:

Reduce clients' hunger

Provide high quality food, focusing on nutrient-dense and protein-rich products

Provide benefits counseling for clients to access other hunger-relief and entitlement programs

Connect clients to other agencies which provide additional social services

Community Engagement and Education to Inspire and Motivate:
Increase awareness of hunger in our midst and encourage action 

Change outdated perceptions of hunger

Connect community members with meaningful volunteer and philanthropic activity

Enable volunteers/donors to become invested in the Pantry knowing their gifts are respected and well spent

Help community members see the Pantry as a vital community asset worthy of their support further connecting them to the community in which they live


Advocacy to influence change:

Influence and educate legislators regarding community hunger issues

Influence level of state and national funding for anti-hunger programs

Improve state's use of available federal funds

Effect broader public debate on hunger relief efforts.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Food Pantry

The Pantry provided hunger relief during two distribution sessions each week, which include morning, evening, and weekend hours in order to meet client needs. Each client is given a five- to seven-day supply of nutritious food through a “client choice” model (implemented in October 2010), in which families choose their own food rather than receiving pre-prepared packages. This not only emphasizes dignity for our clients, but also cuts down on waste and increases our ability to serve more families. In 2010, we distributed over 570,000 pounds of food and served 26% more people than in 2009.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$1,829,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

We provide hunger relief to families in 12 zip codes in Cook County including portions of the city of Chicago (Austin, Humboldt Park) and many of its near-west suburbs

Social Media

Funding Needs

Why Give a Monetary Donation? Because for every one dollar given to the food pantry, we can purchase eleven dollars of food. Working with our hunger relief partners, the Food Pantry can purchase food at a dramatic discount. A typical food allotment costs $63 at a retail grocery store, while the Pantry can purchase the same items at a cost of only $5.41.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

OAK PARK RIVER FOREST FOOD PANTRY
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

OAK PARK RIVER FOREST FOOD PANTRY

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Michele Zurakowski

BIO

Michele Zurakowski directed operations for Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry for 5 years before being appointed Executive Director. Prior to entering the non-profit world, Ms.Zurakowski worked in academics in both administrative and teaching capacities specializing in the field of Communication.  Her administrative
leadership includes organizational analysis, strategic planning, operations, and fiscal
management.along with extensive
staff and volunteer management experience

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The Pantry began in the early 1970s, when a small group of volunteers recognized how easily hunger can happen to anyone. Today, 1 in every 5 families struggle with hunger. As need in the surrounding communities grew, the Pantry's service boundaries grew with it to include portions of the city of Chicago and many of its near-west suburbs. In the Pantry's early years, food relief consisted of nonperishable items only. Today, our clients also receive meat, bread, dairy, and fresh produce. Prior to the establishment of the Pantry, there were few options for food relief in the area. Today, the Pantry fills a very real service void in our community, the missing piece in our local safety net."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Betsy Backes

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?