PEKIN, Ill. — For the past eight years, The Hope Chest: Neighborhood Thrift Store has run one of Pekin’s most known food pantries.
However, a recent cooler maintenance problem has the potential to throw a wrench in the mix.
Jessica Cotty, director of community services, said after returning to the store from a holiday break, she noticed one of the pantry’s major appliances was having issues.
“We came back from New Year’s break and our walk-in was at 60 degrees,” Cotty said. “So we called and had a heating and cooling specialist come in and we found out our compressor had gone out.”
Cotty said a 60-degree walk-in cooler means spoiled food and the potential to make people sick, so everything inside had to go.
“Anything that was in the walk-in had to be disposed of which takes away from people that rely on our resources here,” Cotty said.
She said she noticed the walk-in cooler was having problems on Thursday and as of Tuesday, the compressor has been replaced.
However, she said the more than $1500 repair caused the store to use the funds that operate their food pantry, which runs every Tuesday and Thursday and feeds about 100 families per week.
“Through financial donations, it makes us able to continue our programs,” Cotty said. “Taking away for a compressor really puts into what we can provide through our food pantry.”
Cotty said she hopes the community continues to donate to help them continue providing food to those in need.
She said you can bring donations to the store in person, mail it or donate over the phone with a credit or debit card.