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The Common Food Pantry Celebrates A New Book, And 45 Years of Service

By Maggie Hellwig in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 26, 2012 6:20PM

Image via Common Pantry's website.
David R. Brown and Roger Wright's new book, entitled I am Your Neighbor: Voices from a Chicago Food Pantry, is a release that we think is worth not only some time, but some consideration, and even a bit of money. The mission of the book is simple and genuine: empathy. Inside the cover are 21 stories of individuals who use Chicago's Common Pantry in their times of need. Brown and Wright bring these accounts to us in hopes that the community can learn to see these people as their neighbors, rather than strangers. Indifference to such issues is at the root, and always the fuel that sustains poverty.

In the late 1960s the population on the north side of Chicago rose at an alarming rate, rendering individuals homeless and without jobs. As is the trend with most food pantries, several churches (in this case some in Lakeview and Lincoln Park) worked together to meet the need for extra food and supplies. In 1967, Common Pantry was established in Lincoln Park. While the location has drifted about the northern part of the city, it remains the longest unceasingly operated food pantry in Chicago. I am Your Neighbor is another way to commemorate the food pantry's legacy, and to aid the mission that they have sustained for the past 45 years.

To celebrate the release of this book, Common Pantry hands us several ways to help. On Friday, September 28, a benefit will be held at Architectural Artifacts. The tickets are on the pricey side--$100 to be exact, but it is for an honorable cause and 100% of the money will go to the food pantry. Another option is purchasing the book, with the knowledge that your $20 will go toward the same good cause. And, of course, donation of money, time, food, or other items is always welcome.

The benefit for Common Pantry & I am Your Neighbor will be held on Friday, September 28, at Architectural Artifacts: 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. 7 p.m. Tickets: $100 and can be purchased here.