WEST RIDGE — A charity that helps refugees and other marginalized groups is seeking donations and volunteers to help its West Ridge food pantry serve more families during the coronavirus outbreak.
ICNA Relief, a Muslim charity that operates food pantries and other services throughout the country, is expecting a rush of new clients seeking services in the wake of the outbreak. To help stock its Refugee Resource Center and Food Pantry, 2809 W. Devon Ave. in West Ridge, the group is seeking donations of certain items and volunteers to assist the charity during this time of need.
With the coronavirus spreading throughout Chicago and the country, efforts to mitigate the spread have caused economic hardship, including the loss of thousands of jobs in the hospitality and entertainment business. In response, non-profits across the city are expecting a huge increase in those seeking help.
Since the coronavirus hit Chicago, ICNA’s Refugee Resource Center and Food Pantry has served nearly 150 families.
“With the recent crisis, the demand has skyrocketed,” Dr. Saima Azfar, ICNA Relief’s Midwest regional director, said in a statement. “Not only are our clients already low-income wage earners, now they are out of work or have seen their hours dramatically cut. They have nowhere to turn to but us.”
Most of ICNA’s clients in the Chicago are running out of essential items like food, medication and cleaning products.
The group is seeking donations of: rice, dry beans, tomato sauce, tea (100-count box), lentils, sugar, pasta, flour, dates and vermicelli. ICNA would prefer larger-quantity donations, like 4-pound bags of sugar and 5-pound bags of flour, according to the group.
Hygiene items the group is seeking include: toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, laundry detergent, diapers, baby wipes, shampoo, bar soap and toothpaste.
ICNA also needs volunteers to deliver food boxes in the West Ridge and Rogers Park area.
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