Woodridge, IL—In response to expanded demand for food and supplies by customers of West Suburban Community Pantry, the pantry has expanded hours and services to accommodate an increase in customers resulting in crowded facilities and wait times for admittance. The change may also better accommodate the return to work for some customers.

“Our primary concern is to make the shopping experience accessible, dignified, comfortable and convenient for all our customers and their families,” says Director of Pantry Operations Paul Matsushima.  “These changes will ensure the pantry shelves are fully and attractively stocked, our friendly volunteers can see that customers find what they need and allow families to shop either online or in the store at times convenient to them.”

In-person shopping on the Pantry Store has been expanded to include full shopping on Mondays from 10 am until noon, whereas previously, customers could only pick up fresh produce, milk, eggs, and bread on Mondays. Tuesday shopping hours are 8:30 am-2:30 pm. The Pantry has expanded shopping to 8:30 am-7:30 pm on Thursdays. “Nearly 100 customers have been shopping on Tuesdays. We don’t want people waiting in bad weather or hot cars to check in and begin shopping,” says Matsushima. “Adding full service on Mondays and opening all day on Thursdays should help alleviate that.”

In addition, the Pantry has added pick up times from 8:30-noon on Saturday mornings at the Woodridge Pantry for the Virtual Food Pantry, which allows shoppers to order groceries online up to a day in advance and pick up at a time and location that best suits their needs. For information on the Virtual Food Pantry, visit www.virtualfoodpantry.net. A recent survey indicated that approximately 25% of respondents relied on the West Suburban Community Food Pantry for more than 50% of their weekly food needs. Some 40% of female respondents with children revealed that they had skipped a meal due to a routine expense. The Pantry  serves residents in need in Woodridge, Naperville, Lisle and all of DuPage Country as well as Bolingbrook and Romeoville, and welcomes donations of unopened food, cleaning supplies, pet food, personal care items, diapers and baby wipes as well as monetary gifts. Additional volunteers are welcome for training. For information and complete list of hours visit www.wscpantry.org.