WOODRIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- The West Suburban Community Pantry reopened its doors for in-person shoppers Wednesday morning thanks to a new partnership with Amazon Fresh.
The pantry is for families who need help getting back on their feet and serves seven communities in DuPage and Will counties.
A ribbon-cutting marked the re-opening of the pantry in Woodridge. After a successful campaign to raise more than $600,000 families who can now come back to shop in person will notice a newly renovated facility.
"It's turning a corner in terms of our service being able to continue to expand to reach more people in the community," said Laura Coyle, executive director of the West Suburban Community Pantry.
During the pandemic, the pantry pivoted to offer a virtual online ordering system and curbside pick-up at the Woodridge facility and remote sites throughout DuPage and Will Counties. That will stay in place.
So with a new way of serving people coupled with the renovation which brought more shelving for more capacity, the Amazon Fresh store in Naperville is also adding it's support.
"We really pride ourselves on our fresh produce and our fresh meat and seafood that we provide at our store so we are able to give back right now and this is a great opportunity to give back to the community," said Sarafina Pastrana with Amazon Fresh.
About 5,600 neighbors in and around the area which also includes Lisle, Westmont, Willowbrook, Bolingbrook and Romeoville rely on this food pantry for support and the need is growing.
Meanwhile, pantry officials say they're celebrating new beginnings.
"We really hope we are there. We feel like this is a turning point for us in for the community and that it's a time to celebrate surviving the past year," Coyle said.
Due to that successful campaign to raise money pantry officials say it will allow them to double the number of people they will be able to serve in the coming years.