BUNKER HILL - The Bunker Hill, IL Food Pantry located at 501 East Warren St., began operation in 1987 after founder Margaret Gerdt successfully opened it. Lester Lawton, who took over managing the Pantry later said of her, “It was hard work for her. She had to go begging for money and for people to help, but she got the job done and we wouldn’t be here today without the work she did back then.”
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The Pantry offers a variety of food items from milk, meat, can goods, cereals, and cake mixes. They are open Wednesdays from 8 to 11 am.
Volunteers provided the guidelines they use in determining eligibility. Based on a per year chart, 1 person $16,744, 2 ppl $22,646, 3 ppl $28,548, 4ppl $34,450, 5ppl $40,352, 6ppl $46,254, 7ppl $$52,156, and 8ppl $58,058. If you earn more in your category than what is in the chart, they said you would be ineligible. She also said that two forms are needed, one such as a power bill demonstrating residency and one proving your identity.
The volunteers are aware that on occasion things happen in the community unexpectedly and it creates an emergency for people. Lawton spoke for everyone working there today when he said in 2000, “The thing we want everyone to know is that no one in the Bunker Hill community has to go to bed hungry. If they need help, we’re here to help them.”
Lawton’s daughter, Dodie Brewer (R), serves as the Pantry treasurer. Brewer is shown here receiving $300 raised by the BH New Sage House from their 1st Block Party fundraiser by co-owner, Kris Gresham (L).