Michael Mooney has been volunteering at St. Ignatius Church’s Food Pantry since 2001.
With more than 860,000 people in Cook County struggling to find food, there are countless stories to tell. The Greater Chicago Food Depository is striving to tell 52 stories of the people we serve in 52 weeks.

From fixing helicopters in the Army to volunteering in his community, Michael Mooney has lived a life of service.

Michael, 53, served in the Army as a helicopter mechanic during Desert Storm. He returned to Chicago in 2001 unable to work because of an injury and needed help making ends meet.

“I just wasn’t able to make it to the end of the month,” he said. “I just didn’t have the money to buy enough food.”

Michael found assistance at the St. Ignatius Church’s food pantry, a Greater Chicago Food Depository member agency in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Michael started coming regularly, receiving fresh fruit, vegetables and groceries from the pantry.

He soon realized how valuable the agency was to the community and decided to volunteer. Twelve years later, Michael rarely uses the pantry, but continues to volunteer on Wednesdays and Fridays.

“For many, this pantry is the difference between being hungry and feeding your family. I’m glad to be part of making a difference,” Michael said.

The pantry serves nearly 600 families per month and is open Wednesdays 2-4 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
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