We are committed to providing foods and services that nourish and sustain, through a dignified experience. We prioritize fresh produce, protein products, and a variety of grocery items. Visitors to our Food Pantry are able to shop for their own groceries to select the items they need.
In order to verify who you are, and where you live, every visit we require two (2) things:
- A photo ID
- Proof of address in our service area
For more information, see ‘Requirements’ or ‘FAQ’ below.
Nutrition Education presentations are available at each distribution. Click here for a schedule of topics and recipes.
Households may visit the Food Pantry once a month (calendar month) and must:
- Show a photo ID (driver's license, State ID, school ID, work ID...)
- Reside in our Service Area
- See bottom of page for map of included zip codes.
- We require proof of residence in our service area, if your Photo ID does not have proof of address, you must bring a current utility bill, mortgage, lease, letter from landlord, or voter registration card.
- Meet Annual Income Guidelines as set by the Illinois Emergency Food Assistance Program:
- Family of 1: $1799 or less /month gross
- Family of 2: $2425 or less /month gross
- Family of 3: $3051 or less /month gross
- Family of 4: $3677 or less /month gross
- Family of 5: $4303 or less /month gross
- Family of 6: $4929 or less /month gross
- Family of 7: $5555 or less /month gross
- Family of 8: $6181 or less/month gross
- For each additional household member over 8, add $625
If you don’t reside in our service area, contact the Greater Chicago Food Depository to find assistance programs in your community. For immediate help, contact 773-247-FOOD (3663).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What time should I arrive to make sure I receive food?
As long as you arrive between the scheduled food distribution time (9:00 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday, and 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on all other Wednesdays) you receive food. During this time, you will receive a number which is required to be served. At the end of the scheduled time, no new numbers will be given out, but everyone with a number will be served. We recommend coming 30 to 60 minutes after we first open to have a shorter wait for food.
What do I need to bring with me to the Food Pantry?
Every time you visit you need to bring a photo ID and proof of address in our service area: if your ID has this, that is all you need. But if it doesn’t, you’ll need to bring a secondary proof of address. We also recommend bringing reusable bags – not only will this make carrying food easier, but it saves us the cost of purchasing disposable plastic bags. Additionally, we recommend bringing grocery cart or large suitcase to help transport groceries if you’re taking public transportation.
Do I need to show proof of income to receive food?
No, although you will have to sign a form verifying your income.
How long can I expect to wait to receive food?
It’s hard to tell. Depending on when you arrive and how busy we are, you may end up waiting 60 to 75 minutes before your number is called. During that time, we have a Nutrition Education session lead by dietitians to keep you entertained. To reduce your wait-time, we recommend coming in the last 30 minutes of the time we are open. By coming later, your wait time is significantly reduced.
Is parking available?
Limited parking is available in the church parking lot off Kenilworth Ave. Additional parking is available on local streets but be sure to carefully read the signs to make sure you’re allowed to park there. Please be respectful of others and avoid blocking other cars, or double parking in the parking lot.
What food can I expect to receive at the food pantry?
We have a client-choice model of service, which means you get to ‘shop’ in a grocery store-like environment. We will always have a variety of fresh produce, meat, canned goods, peanut butter, jelly, cereals, and breads. However, due to varying donations, we do not always have the same things. We work hard to provide a variety of options, including low-sodium, vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, and fresh produce options.
What accommodations are available for people with disabilities?
For people with limited mobility that prevent them from using stairs (of which we have many!), the church building has an accessible entrance on Kenilworth (opposite the parking lot). Once you arrive, ask a volunteer to find a staff member who will unlock this entrance and bring you to the Food Pantry via the elevator.
Once inside, we have personal shoppers who can help you select your groceries and help you back outside.
For more information, contact Ricardo J. Garcia, Pantry Manager, (708) 386-1324 ext. 1114.
If I can’t visit the Food Pantry myself, is there a way to receive Food?
If you are unable to visit the Food Pantry yourself, a family member, friend, or neighbor can shop on your behalf via a proxy form. They will act as a ‘proxy’ for you, and shop on your behalf. To do this, you’ll need to send a copy (or photo on phone) of your ID and a completed proxy form with them. They can shop for you during normal distribution hours, following the regular procedures.
Download the proxy form in the drop-down below.
Where can I receive food if I’m not in Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry’s service area?
You can find other food pantries that serve you by visiting Greater Chicago Food Depository’s website and entering your location. https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/find-food/
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
For additional questions, please contact our Pantry Supervisor, (708) 386-1324 ext. 1107.
Homebound individuals ("recipient") may be served by Proxy. The proxy is someone who picks up food on behalf of the recipient.
- The Proxy Form must be signed by the Recipient, Delivery Person, and Food Pantry Staff.
- Delivery Person must have a copy of Recipient's ID (photo on phone is OK).
- Delivery Person must have their ID.
- How to fill out the Proxy Form
Beyond the Food Pantry, we offer the following programs and services:
- Social Services: one-on-one help connecting to public benefits
- Cooking Classes & Store Tours: classes that focus on nutrition along with cooking and budgeting skills
- Summer Meals: providing kids with meals during the summer months
- Home Delivery: home delivered groceries to homebound seniors and disabled adults (By referral through Oak Park Township or Thresholds only)
Click the underlined titles to proceed to other webpages:
HUB PORTAL https://healthconnectionhub.org/
- Greater Chicago Food Depository | Find additional food pantries & soup kitchens
- Oak Park Farmers Market | Every Saturday May-October – SNAP is accepted and matched
- Sugar Beet Co-op | Healthy groceries sourced directly from farmers – SNAP is accepted and matched
- Farm on Ogden | Urban greenhouse and fresh produce market – SNAP is accepted
- Meals on Wheels | Home delivered meals for seniors and people with disabilities
- Budget Bytes | Affordable, easy (and tasty) recipes
- Cooking Light | Nutritious and delicious recipes to try at home
- USDA Recipes | Yummy, low cost recipes
- USDA Build Your Own Cookbook | Build yourself a cookbook with USDA recipes
- My Plate | Tips and ideas about healthy eating
- American Diabetes Association | Assess your risk and learn more about living with diabetes
- American Heart Association | Learn more about heart healthy living and specific health topics
Shelter and Homelessness Resources:
- PADS Shelter | Daily shelter in suburban Cook County for men and women from September – May
- Franciscan Outreach Shelter | Daily shelter and services in North Lawndale for men and women
- Deborah’s Place | Housing and counseling services for women experiencing homelessness
- Housing Forward | Housing assistance and daytime support center in suburban Cook County
- Breakthrough Urban Ministries | Housing assistance and daytime support center in Chicago
- A Safe Haven | Housing and case management for individuals who are homeless
- Thresholds | Housing and programs for individuals with mental illness
- Oak Park Housing Authority | Elderly & disabled housing in Oak Park
- Chicago Housing Authority | Public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)
Employment and Business Resources:
- Illinois WorkNet | Online JobFinder and career guide
- Dress for Success | Trainings, career advancement and business attire to women searching for jobs
- Small Business Improvement Fund | Remodeling grants for small business owners in Chicago
- JARC | Free manufacturing job training and placement services
- Housing Forward | Job readiness, resume development, job search assistance
- CEDA | Job readiness and help with job placements
- Breakthrough Urban Ministries | Job readiness program, includes education and job skill training
Healthcare and Mental Health Resources:
- NAMI Metro Suburban | Drop-In center, support & education to individuals/families with mental illness
- Thrive Counseling Center | Counseling and psychiatric services
- Pillars Community Health | Medical, dental, and behavioral health services – sliding scale fees
- Health Insurance Marketplace | Government health insurance enrollment
- Access to Care | Primary Health Care program for suburban Cook County and Northwest Chicago
- Oak Street Health | Primary care doctors for adults with Medicare
- Access from AT&T | Low-cost home internet to qualifying families
- Assurance Wireless | Free cellphones to qualified individuals
- Prevail Emergency Assistance | Emergency financial assistance to address immediate crisis
- LIHEAP | Utility payment assistance programs
- BenefitsCheckUp | Search for all availalbe government benefits for older adults
- Benefits.gov | Search all available government benefits
- ABE | Apply and manage DHS benefits online (SNAP, Medicaid, Cash, Medicare Savings)
- WIC | Supplemental nutrition program for pregnant women, infants and children up to age 5
- Oak Park Township | General assistance, case management, and programs for youth, seniors, and people with disabilities
- Benefit Access | License plate discount/RTA Ride Free permit eligibility for seniors/people with disabilities
Childcare and Parent Resources:
- New Moms | Parenting groups, doula services, and home visiting for new parents with young children
- Collaboration for Early Childhood | Parenting, home visiting and childcare resources
- Child Care Assistance Program | Government assistance to pay for childcare
Community Event Resources:
- Chicago Public Library Events | Free local events
- Oak Park Public Library Events | Free local events
- Museums for All | Free/reduced price museum access with SNAP/Link Card
Domestic Violence Resources:
- Sarah’s Inn | Shelter and services for women experiencing domestic abuse
- Connections for Abused Women and their Children | Shelter and services for women experiencing domestic abuse