They say that challenge brings opportunity. This past year was a true test. Now, we turn to the new year, yearning for something fresh and revitalizing, hopeful that opportunity will lead the way and burst the door wide open!
With the continuing challenges of unemployment and the expiring of relief measures, food insecurity will continue to be a household phrase in 2021. All you need to do is turn on your television to see the vast lines of cars waiting to receive food from their local food pantry. At Loaves & Fishes, there has been a 777% increase in first-time families who need assistance. The worry weighs heavily on these families as they struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With all the challenges our clients face, we have the opportunity to provide hope.
Hope comes in the form of caring volunteers, whose upbeat and positive attitudes brightens the day. It also comes in the abundance of healthy food that is lovingly placed into every trunk. The tireless CARES team at Loaves & Fishes answers a high volume of phone calls every day, requesting emergency assistance for rent and utilities. These people take the opportunity to offer compassion and hope to the over 1,000 families we serve weekly.
With so many struggling in the world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the hardships brought on by the pandemic. The Naperville community has met these challenges head-on with a determined spirit to ensure that our friends and neighbors are cared for. The community support has been abundant and steadfast, allowing us to pass on this goodness and hope to those who need it the most.
We anticipate the increased need to continue this year. Together with our volunteers, donors, community, faith and business partners, and dedicated staff, side by side, the strength to end hunger and transform lives endures. As we look to the new year, we will face the challenges and embrace the opportunities it brings, and together, we will continue to provide hope.
Editor’s Update / On Mon., Jan. 11, 2021, Loaves & Fishes Community Services announced that the nonprofit had acquired additional space to facilitate its programs. Click here for the story.