Ministry of the Month

COOL Food Pantry

What is the COOL Food Pantry?  Who does it serve?

COOL Ministries was founded by people from six Lutheran Churches in the Waukegan/North Chicago area in 1982. The COOL Food Pantry opened its doors in January 1983. The pantries, located in Waukegan, are supported by the entire Lake County community including churches, individuals, Waukegan Community Development Block Grant, corporate and foundation grants and many others. COOL programs are also supported by the United Way of Lake County.

At COOL, visitors receive food based on family size. COOL distributes prepacked boxes and bags of staples plus at least 1 pound of frozen meat per family member. Guests can also choose many items daily from the bread shelves, produce tables and more. Over 4000 visitors are served most months.  Since the pandemic began, COOL has seen a large increase of new clients. They have worked directly with a local church to serve over 100 individuals from their congregation each week. In addition, they have worked with PADS to serve meals to 20 families being housed in area hotels.

How does Grace support COOL?

For many years, donations have been collected to support the COOL Food of the Month.  A volunteer delivers the food to the pantry in Waukegan.  There are periodic opportunities for special donations throughout the year, especially during the holiday season.

Our congregation tithes at least ten percent of offerings received each year supports various benevolent organizations under the guidance of the Social Ministry Team.  A portion of these funds provides financial assistance to COOL Ministries, which includes the Food Pantry, Transitional Housing and Veteran’s Assistance.  In 2020, Grace contributed $1900.

How can I get more involved?

  • Learn more about the COOL Food Pantry, and other COOL ministries. Click here for website.
  • Support a family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season with the gift of a food basket. Details can be found on their website home page.
  • Set aside room in your grocery cart for the COOL Food of the Month and consider offering to deliver donations to the Food Pantry.
  • Go hands-on and become a Food Pantry Volunteer. Click here for more information.