PSC Matteson Area Center ‘Micro Pantry’ Installed to Help Residents in Need [05/23/2018]
Because of a generous donation from Micro Pantries in Joliet, Ill., Prairie State College (PSC) recently installed a micro pantry at the Matteson Area Center (MAC), located at 4821 Southwick Dr. in Matteson, Ill. The micro pantry is a small, outside pantry stocked with free food and personal care items. There is 24-7 access to the pantry and no forms to fill out.
The micro pantry is intended to provide help to community members in need, following the Micro Pantry motto: “Need Food? Take food. Have extra Food? Leave Food.” Community members have open access to the MAC micro pantry, and can take what they need and leave the rest. PSC employees will ensure the pantry remains stocked, but community members are encouraged to support efforts by providing canned food donations throughout the year, as well as promoting this community resource.
Jeff Eberhard, the founder of Micro Pantries, said that he started the initiative in January 2017, as a “grassroots effort to end hunger in Chicago’s south suburbs.” Eberhard says that it was through his work at his business that he realized there were so many people in the area that were in need. He said that, because the business was doing so well, he decided to take the money he would have used for advertising to give back.
“When we started doing the micro pantries, we noticed a lot of people coming out to take advantage of them. These were people who might not use your standard food pantry - because they didn’t qualify, didn’t meet the residency requirements or didn’t have the right identification.”
Now, Micro Pantries continues to work with businesses and organizations in high-traffic areas to install pantries and ensure that the pantries remain stocked for people in need. While they have installed several pantries throughout Will and Grundy Counties in Illinois, as well as a few in neighboring states, the MAC micro pantry is the first of its kind in Cook County.
“We are proud to be the site of the first micro pantry in Cook County,” said PSC Dean of Corporate and Continuing Education Kelly Lapetino. “While small in stature, this micro pantry will be a valuable resource for our students and the community we serve.”