The Amor de Dios food pantry in Little Village steadfastly continued to serve its community during a time of collective grief and turmoil.

Pastor Ramiro Rodriguez and his dedicated team of volunteers kept their church’s doors open to families in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected communities of color like Little Village. In the beginning months of the pandemic, Amor de Dios’s pantry was serving nearly 300 people every Thursday out of their church basement. Well into 2021, volunteers were still serving a heightened need.

Not only did they respond to the public health crisis, but their church is also only steps away from where 13-year-old boy named Adam Toledo was killed by police in March 2021 – a local tragedy that swiftly became national news.

“Estamos comprometidos a la comunidad.” We are committed to the community.

Ramiro Rodriguez, pastor and food pantry coordinator, Amor de Dios United Methodist Church

Amor de Dios is one of the nearly 700 dedicated Food Depository community partners and programs that provide food to those in need across Cook County. A vast majority of these partners are food pantries – community lifelines for those facing hunger. In fiscal year 2021, these food pantries continued to serve at rates far above pre-pandemic levels.

In fiscal year 2021 alone, food pantry partners served 1,454,000 households across Cook County.

In response to this growing demand, many pantries have expanded and transformed their operations to address this new normal. To keep strengthening the emergency food safety net, the Food Depository is providing grant funding to food pantries in low-income, predominantly Black and Latino communities. These areas are expected to have a longer, unequal pandemic recovery. Learn more about that work here.

The Food Depository is incredibly grateful to our partners selflessly working on the front lines of this ongoing crisis. We’re also thankful to our supporters, who make it possible to supply every neighbor who walks through their doors with the food they need.