For a child growing up in a food insecure home, the weekend is often the hardest time when it comes to meals and nutrition. Public school programs help meet food insecurity needs during the week; but the trip home on Friday is often filled with tension and anxiety. Where will breakfast, lunch, and dinner come from for the next two days? How can we help serve our community’s children, who experience this on a weekly basis?
We invite you to join us in supporting the Weekend Backpack program. We partner with local schools to provide supplementary food on the weekends to students who have been identified as food insecure. Most of the students identified, are on free or reduced lunch programs that help meet some of their needs during the week. The Weekend Backpacks program helps continue the food support they receive on the weekends.
Below is a sample list of some of the food items we provide. If you are interested in helping support this program, please consider making a donation today. To learn more about the Weekend Backpacks program visit here.
During 2015 we are averaging 283 families/individuals every week, each living their own unique story…
Have you ever gotten lost driving home from the store? For Ann, a Mom and wife with 4 children at home, this is reality. About 7 years ago, she was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s and unable to work. Ann’s husband has a job which puts them just over the amount to receive assistance. He deals with an emotional illness which prevents him from taking responsibility for the home and raising the children. As those responsibilities became solely Ann’s, she struggles to keep it all together. Your support helps us deliver 2 days of meals to Ann’s family.
How many 89 years old’s do you know living on their own, in their own home? Meet Harry who lives on his Social Security that supports his auto insurance, auto gas, Medicare supplement, prescriptions, taxes and utilities. What money is left each month is for food and any auto/home repairs. Harry feels stretched to the limit after exhausting his savings 9 years ago. Your support helps provides 2 days of meals for Harry as he celebrates his 90th birthday.
We are often asked, “When a person is receiving Disability Payments or unemployment, why are they coming to the food pantry for assistance?” Simple answer, the bills you have when working, still have to be paid even when you are on a fixed income that is 80% or less of your regular income. Which bills do you pay?
If you are not able to go back to work, your wait can be 2 years with no income before Social Security Disability begins.
FACTS FOR THE FIRST 9 MONTHS 2015
OAM has assisted 29,427 individuals
averaging 283 each week / 136 are deliveries / includes 6 Senior Apartments
32% are children under the age of 18
families are eligible to come once a week & receive 2 days of meals based on family size, includes frozen meat and fresh milk
OAM distributes 200 gallons of fresh milk each week
OAM is distributing an average of 73 weekend backpacks of food for children during school year
OAM distributed 386 Easter Ham Family Dinners
OAM distributed 330 School Supply Kits
anticipate distributing 500+ Holiday Meal Boxes for each holiday – Thanksgiving & Christmas
anticipate Christmas shopping for over 600 children
2 part time staff
Thank you to the 83 weekly core volunteers
Church & community monthly volunteer groups
Special thanks to Allendale Students & Faculty – Antioch Jr. Woman’s Club – Antioch Rotary Club – Beautiful Savior Church – Boy Scout Troop of Lake Villa – Christian Life Fellowship Church – Curves Girls – Interact Club of District #117 Northbridge Church – Poole Family – St Ignatius Episcopal Church – St Mark Lutheran Church – St Peter Catholic Church – St Raphael Catholic Church – St Stephen Lutheran Church and Woodforest Bank
Monthly Weekend Backpack Volunteers – Special thanks to Antioch United Methodists Church – Northbridge Church – St Stephen’s Lutheran Church
HOW YOU CAN ASSIST YOUR COMMUNITY IN NEED
HOLIDAY MEAL BOXES
$25.00 buys a Thanksgiving Dinner
turkey and all the fixings for 8
$25.00 buys a Christmas Dinner
ham and all the fixings for 8
as a 501c3, cash donations are tax deductible
ADOPT A FAMILY
by Shopping for children’s Christmas Gifts
We anticipate shopping for over 600 children this year
Parents/guardians develop a list that includes child’s sizes and gift ideas
Let us know how many children you want to shop for and we will supply you with their list
For some children this may be their only gifts – call us for more information 847-395-0309
OAM volunteers have collected gift requests from children’s parents and guardians
Guidelines for Gifts
Each child – clothing request and 2 to 3 gifts ideas.
Focus on gifts that can be wrapped and opened at Christmas for younger children (No gift cards for children 13 or younger).
Something for the whole family: a game and/or necessity such as blankets or towels (something everyone can use).
Please do not wrap presents. You may include a roll or two of wrapping paper and scotch tape (we want the parents to see what the child is receiving and give them the opportunity to wrap and tag the gifts themselves).
Guidelines for Delivering Gifts
Tag each item (example: “girl 10” or “boy 3”).
Place the items in a large black bag(s).
Tag each bag with the family number (which you will receive upon signing up to adopt-a-family). If you have multiple bags please mark: “1 of 2,” “2 of 2,” etc.
If one of the gifts is a gift card ,please include in an envelope attached to the outside of one of the bags.
Please deliver your tagged, black gift bags on Saturday, December 5th between 9 AM and Noon.
If you would like to sign up to adopt-a-family contact us:
firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: “attn: adopt a family”)
Would you like your year-end donation to go to local families in need?
Open Arms Mission has been assisting our neighbors in Antioch (62%) and Lake Villa (38%) Townships for fifteen years. Each week, we provide 2 days of meals and outreach referrals for neighbors who are food insecure. This January through October we have averaged 283 households each week.
We need your financial help to continue this community effort.
Every Person Has a Unique Story:
Ann & Her Family
I would like to introduce you to Ann, a Mom, wife and client of Open Arms Mission. Ann has 5 children, 4 currently living with she and her husband, one son is in the military. Around 2009, Ann was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s, Ann is 45 years old and unable to work. Ann’s husband has a job which puts them just over the amount to receive assistance and in addition he deals with an emotional illness which prevents him from taking responsibility for the home and raising the children. As those responsibilities become Ann’s, she struggles to keep it all together. Your support will help Open Arms Mission provide 2 days of meals for Ann’s family.
Meet Harry, 89 years old and living on his own, in his own home. Harry lives on his Social Security which supports his auto insurance, auto gas, Medicare supplement, prescriptions, taxes and utilities. What is left is for food and any auto/home repairs. Harry feels stretched to the limit after exhausting his savings 9 years ago. Your support will help Open Arms Mission provide 2 days of meals for Harry as he moves into his 90th year.
Disability Payments Often Aren’t Enough
There are times I am asked, “When a person is receiving Disability Payments, why are they coming to the food pantry for assistance?” There is a very simple answer. The bills you have when working, still have to be paid even when you are on a fixed income that is 80% or less of your regular income. Which bills do you choose to pay? If your injury or illness is severe enough and you will not be going back to work, your wait can be 2 years with no income from Social Security Disability. Your support will help Open Arms Mission provide 2 days of meals for these families who deal with food insecurity.
We cannot solve everyone’s issues, but we can ensure their family has food during the process.