IRVING PARK — You can support the Irving Park Community Food Pantry by donating winter gear at dropoff locations around the Northwest Side.
The pantry at 4256 N. Ridgeway Ave. is asking for new or gently used winter coats, hats, scarves, mittens and other cold-weather gear, said Craig Shutt, the pantry’s publicity and special events coordinator. The pantry is not accepting sweaters, sweatshirts, boots or other clothing, Schutt said.
At the pantry’s first coat pickup Thursday, nearly 100 coats were handed out to clients, Shutt said.
“We have sufficient dropoff locations, and we will get more as the [coat drive] goes on,” Shutt said. “We are encouraging people to donate smaller men’s coats, women’s coats and kids’ coats.”
The pantry is able to give receipts for all new coats donated for tax deductions, Shutt said.
- 16th District Jefferson Park Police Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee Ave.
- 17th District Albany Park Police Station, 4650 N. Pulaski Road
- Big Helpers store, 4184 N. Elston Ave.: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Disney II Magnet School, 3815 N. Kedvale Ave. (Inside Main Entrance, 8:30 a.m-3:30 p.m.)
- Disney II Magnet High School, 3900 Lawndale Ave.: inside main entrance, 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m.
- Irving Park YMCA, 4251 W. Irving Park Road: dropbox in the lobby
- Jet’s Pizza, 3951 N. Kimball Ave.: dropbox in waiting area
- J.T.’s Genuine Sandwich Shop, 3970 N. Elston Ave.: closed Mondays
- Old Irving Brewing Company, 4419 W. Montrose Ave.: noon-10 p.m.
- Perkolator Coffee, 6032 W. Irving Park Road: during operating hours
- Front Porch at 3822 N. Tripp Ave.: anytime
With high inflation, the pantry has seen more families recently, which makes the annual coat drive even more important this year, Shutt said.
Since the height of the pandemic, the pantry has served about 80 families a week, but now its numbers are up to almost 100. At the beginning of the pandemic, it served about 200 families a week, Shutt said.
The coat drive runs through the end of November. People who drop off a coat at Jet’s Pizza, 3951 N. Kimball Ave., will get a free small pizza. The store already dropped off a large bag of coats, Shutt said.
Disney II Elementary School at 3815 N. Kedvale Ave. is also accepting warm clothing for migrants who arrived from Texas, pantry leaders said. Folks can drop off warm clothing in the lobby 7:45 a.m.-6 p.m. on school days and address any donations to teacher Daniel Santiago, who volunteers at a community center helping many migrants and will deliver the donations, pantry volunteers said.
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