Lakeview Pantry operated for 22 years from a 970-square-foot boiler room in the basement of the Jane Adams Center. Within these modest confines, the organization grew into one of the busiest food pantries in Chicago. The increased demand put incredible stress on the tight workspace and forced clients to wait in lines that often stretched into the street.
Since then, Lakeview Pantry has worked with IFF twice to move into larger, more visible storefronts capable of serving even more clients — and to do so in spaces that bring dignity to the difficult act of asking for help.
Most recently, in 2016, IFF provided a $1.5 million flexible, low-cost loan toward Lakeview Pantry’s first property purchase, a $3 million expansion project. The end result: a two-story, 7,500-square-foot space that combines warmth and functionality in a 1910-era building ideally located next to a CTA train station. Today, Lakeview Pantry reaches 7,000 households annually, serving 1.6 million pounds of food and 1.3 million meals.
(Date of loan: 2016. Date of story publication: May 2017)