Operation H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People to be Empowered) Food Pantry and Clothing Ministry began on June 8, 2005. The ministry began as a vision of the Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes when neighbors of the community were asking for lunches being discarded from a summer program. The Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes was quoted as saying, The community will let you know what they need if you pay attention. From that quote, couple with his vision, the ministry was birthed. In addition to showing the face of Jesus through food service, it was also decided to offer quality, gently worn clothing to our neighbors.
The pantry purchases food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Before 2014, The Pantry was funded by the members of The faith family of West Point Missionary Baptist Church, as well as private organizations. In 2014, God blessed the ministry by allowing it to receive supplemental funding from the Department of Family and Support Services. Clothing is donated by caring individuals within and outside of our local church.
The food pantry and clothing ministry operating hours are Wednesday’s from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is open to anyone who lives in Cook County, IL. The Ministry provides canned goods, as well as other shelf items, fresh produce, bread, pastries, juice and meat. The Ministry is pleased to have ministry partners with whom it shares in the responsibility of providing holistic care to all who enter within. The Ministry, through its partners, provide free health screenings, as well as a myriad of social services for all ages, including information on senior services.
The food pantry is a client choice pantry which allows the clients to choose their food, as in a grocery store setting. There are approximately 10-12 volunteers present on Wednesdays to accommodate our brothers and sisters. Although the technical term is “client,” it is important to note that each person serviced is referenced as “brothers or sisters.” The Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes, as well as the volunteers, feel it of the utmost importance that each person who enters therein is treated with dignity and respect.
The Ministry presently serves approximately 100 households weekly, and an average of 250 individuals weekly. The mission and goal is to provide nutritional food and decent clothing, as well as to operate a clean and healthy environment, while providing a Christ-like and friendly atmosphere. The Ministry also serves Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner, as has been blessed to serve since November, 2008. The ministry strives to live out its Church motto, Living to Serve God by Serving Humanity (Galatians 5:13).
The Ministry has been awarded several grants and commendations, as we continue to help combat hunger in the City of Chicago. We also sponsored a pre-thanksgiving dinner to the community for eight years.
Sunday Morning Worship:
8:00 am (1st and 3rd Sundays)
& 10:45 am
Wednesday in the Word