Stand With the Pilsen Food Pantry - Keep Us on Throop Street!
The Archdiocese of Chicago
The Pilsen Food Pantry has operated out of 1850 S Throop St. since March 2020, expanding to serve the needs of neighbors during COVID-19. The Pilsen Food Pantry aims to improve health and social outcomes through the distribution of fresh, culturally appropriate foods. Foods available at the Pilsen Food Pantry include perishable (fruit, vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat, chicken, fish, etc) and non-perishable foods (grains, beans, peanut butter, canned items). It also distributes clothing, non-motorized medical supplies, free physical therapy, books, school supplies, and household items like menstrual supplies, baby diapers, toothpaste, and light bulbs. The pantry is an invaluable resource for the community and supports over 2000 households every month.
Previously a vacant church building, 1850 South Throop Street is owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago. The church was deconsecrated nearly a decade ago and the upstairs Holy Trinity School classrooms were retired in 1990. The building was leased to the food pantry in March 2020 during a time of extreme crisis, however, clients, pantry staff & leadership, and community members recognize the continued need for the pantry as many aspects of life "go back to normal." The crisis is not over and twice as many clients receive food now (in comparison to pre-pandemic volume). Pantry leadership has repeatedly offered to buy the building in order to secure the pantry’s space for the future and develop additional anti-poverty programs.
In March 2021, the Pilsen Food Pantry made its first written purchase proposal for the church building and empty north garden lot for a fair market price. After drawn out communications over the course of many months, in February 2022 the Pilsen Food Pantry submitted a $2.986M offer to purchase the entire 12 parcel campus (escalated in response to the Archdiocese Real Estate Office expressing their wish to sell the church campus as a single parcel). The Archdiocese initially asked for four weeks to respond to the offer, but then became completely unresponsive. The Pilsen Food Pantry’s business plan includes private donations and TIF funding.
By signing this petition, we ask the Archdiocese of Chicago to communicate and negotiate the sale of the building (or long-term lease options) to the Pilsen Food Pantry. The services provided are too important to end abruptly without discussion or adequate warning from the Archdiocese, as the community has seen with properties under their ownership in the past.
The Archdiocese of Chicago
From: [Your Name]
We are calling on you to continue good faith negotiations with the Pilsen Food Pantry to solidify an agreement that ensures the continued operation of the pantry. This community resource is too important to be threatened by a precarious space agreement.
We believe it is within the mission and values of the Catholic Church to provide resources for those in need. The Archdiocese has the opportunity to continue good relations with a like-minded community partner by ensuring the continued existence of the Pilsen Food Pantry.
We are asking the Archdiocese of Chicago to continue to negotiate in good faith the sale of 1850 South Throop Street to the Pilsen Food Pantry.