Food pantry helps local families care for their pets

By on December 4, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Animal Hospital has agreed to serve as a drop-off site for animal food and supplies, as well as food donations that will end up on the shelves of the Between Friends Food Pantry of Sugar Grove.

Sugar Grove teenagers Danielle and Madison Taylor, who helped their mother Melisa Taylor with the start-up of the food pantry, determined that if families were having a hard time affording food, they probably needed help with the care of their animals, as well.

Sugar Grove Animal Hospital employee Julie Wortman said that they had talked about partnering with a local animal shelter to collect donations, but then they were contacted by volunteers for the food pantry. People are being asked to drop off dog and cat food and other supplies, cat litter, and of course, treats are always welcome. The animal hospital is located at 110 Main St. in Sugar Grove.

“They’re picking it up from us once a week,” she said.

The food pantry, located in the back of the Engineering Enterprises, Inc. building at 52 W. Wheeler Road, is open once a week on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. According to the website, the goal of the food pantry, which opened on Nov. 5, is “to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry, while empowering people to remain self-sufficient in these difficult economic times.”

Taylor said the food and goods are available to residents within the Kaneland School District, and all Sugar Grove residents that meet the income and eligibility guidelines set by the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB).

She said food donations are always welcome; however, monetary donations allow them to provide much more to recipients. Every dollar donated goes six times farther when the food is purchased from the NIFB than someone buying it off the shelf at a grocery store.

The Sugar Grove Jewel Osco, through donations collected from its customers, was able to provide Thanksgiving meals for 27 families through the food pantry, Taylor said. Customers who either paid an extra $1 with their purchase and/or dropped their extra change into a collection jar might be happy to know that their donations helped that many families have a happier Thanksgiving.

Taylor said she is grateful for everything that everyone is doing to help, whether it is donating time, food, services or money to help their neighbors in need. However, she cautions that the needs will continue long after the holidays are over.

“Come January, we’ll still be stocking the shelves,” she said.

Between Friends Food Pantry of Sugar Grove

52 Wheeler Road, Sugar Grove
behind EEI, Inc.
Open Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m.
For additional information,
contact Melisa Taylor at or
(630) 466-0345 or visit the website at
Mail to P.O. Box 509,
Sugar Grove, IL 60554

Product donations needed

Toilet paper
Paper towels
Cleaning supplies
Shampoo and condioner
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Cooking oil
Ketchup and mayonnaise
Sugar and flour

Drop-off locations
Sugar Grove Animal Hospital
Green Acre Cleaners
Sugar Grove Village Hall
Sugar Grove Public Library
Old Second Bank
Sugar Grove Remax
Aurora Candlewood Suites
McDole Elementary School
Sugar Grove United
Methodist Church