StoryStudio Gives Back: February’s in the (Grocery) Bag!

 by Colton Gigot

2013 marks StoryStudio’s tenth anniversary, and to celebrate, we’ve decided to give back. Each month, we’ll donate our time, skills, energy, and community spirit to a different local organization or charity.

This month we will team up with our neighbors at Ravenswood Community Services, the organization behind our local outdoor Market Pantry. We’ll roll up our sleeves as we spend a morning setting up tables, greeting visitors, gleaning produce and bagging groceries for families and individuals needing food assistance.

As a community-oriented business, we love an effort that strengthens the communities we live and work in, and in that regard we are proud to support the RCS Market Pantry.

Since its inception in 2001 (the organization existed previously as an All Saints’ Episcopal Church outreach program), RCS has worked with volunteers to combat poverty in our community, primarily through hunger-relief programs such as pantry services.

“These volunteers come from many places,” says Nick Currie, Assistant Program Director at RCS. “Some are parishioners at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, whose space we use and out of whose ministries we were first organized, while others come to us from the neighborhood, local high schools, in groups from corporations and community organizations around the city, and many are even neighbors who benefit from our services.”

In addition to the outdoor Market Pantry, RCS offers a Tuesday Night Pantry which makes available a selection of balanced and nutritious groceries for families and individuals in need. The impact of these two major programs is palpable. In 2012 alone, RCS hosted nearly 19,000 pantry visits and served more than 5,800 meals in its Community Kitchen.

“We make a point of running our programs in ways that ensure the dignity of our neighbors in need and avoid the common stigmas that low-income and homeless people often face,” Currie says. “We require no identification or proof of income/address in order to receive groceries, and in our meal program we serve all meals family style at round tables, offering our neighbors the dignity of serving themselves and the opportunity to build community in this space.”

On February 9th, StoryStudio will join RCS as we volunteer our time and effort to set up and assist with the weekly outdoor Market Pantry. We encourage all of our friends, students, and partners to join us on what should be a fun and rewarding Saturday morning.

More information about volunteer opportunities with RCS is available at www.ravenswoodcommnityservices.org/volunteer.

If you would like to learn more about StoryStudio Gives Back, feel free to give us a call at 773.477.7710 or drop us an email at info@storystudiochicago.com

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