A longstanding partner of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the St. James Wabash pantry is a busy place that serves Chicago residents from the Douglas, Armour Square, South Loop, Bronzeville, Bridgeport and Chinatown neighborhoods.
Cathy Moore joined the St. James Wabash pantry staff in 2005. Today, she is the director of food pantry programs, remaining steadfast in her commitment to her guests because of her own experiences with food insecurity and homelessness.
Over the years, she has seen the demographics shift and is now serving a community of pantry guests that’s nearly 75% Asian—a figure that rises when you add in home deliveries to those who are physically unable to visit the pantry themselves.
That shift for Cathy meant providing culturally relevant and more diverse food options to meet the specific needs of her community.
“The pantry is a place where guests should feel welcomed and loved,” she says. “It should be a place of empowerment.”
Mei Is So Grateful for Your Support
Mei, 78, definitely feels welcomed when she visits the food pantry. “They really help me here,” she says.
The St. James Wabash food pantry is essential for Mei and her husband to make it through each month. To make ends meet, she spends carefully—only shopping sales.
“Everything is expensive,” she says. “But I’m grateful to live in a place that helps people who need it. I really appreciate the food.”
Having access to culturally representative foods like fresh vegetables, oatmeal, rice and cooking oil means a great deal to Mei and also to Qi, 73. She too appreciates the availability of familiar foods and visits the St. James Wabash food pantry regularly to get eggs, oil and rice to cook for herself and her son, who lives with her.
“I like that it’s close to my home,” she says, while loading up her rolling grocery cart for her walk home.
Important Thanksgiving Needs
Preparations are already under way at our more than 800 community partners, pantries and food distribution sites to ensure needs are met among people in the community who are facing hunger this Thanksgiving.
Through your support, we will help hundreds of thousands of people across Chicago and Cook County who are facing hunger at Thanksgiving. Thank you for your generosity.