Food, Shelter, and Wellness
We have several ongoing projects with the Loaves and Fishes food pantry and PADS homeless shelter. We also occasionally have blood drives and wellness screenings. Details are below. For more information, click here to contact the Social Action Committee.
Loaves and Fishes
What started out as quite literally a small food closet in one church, has now grown into a massive effort to feed our hungry neighbors and lift people out of hunger in our community.
Each year at the High Holidays, Congregation Beth Shalom hosts its annual food drive for the Loaves and Fishes pantry. Typically by Sukkot, we will have gathered over 2000 lbs of food – one ton of groceries scattered throughout our lobby. We encourage you to participate, and donate throughout the year as you are able. You are always welcome to drop off your food donations in our lobby (bags are provided near the door), or to directly donate funds through the Loaves and Fishes website. Because of their institutional buying power, for every $10 we might spend on food, they could directly buy an equivalent of $100 worth of food to stock their shelves. All donations, no matter the form or size, are always welcome.
Katherine Manor is a retirement home in Naperville that offers independent living for people with disabilities. On the 1st Sunday morning of every month, CBS volunteers go to Loaves and Fishes to gather and pack groceries, and then provide home delivery for 7-10 clients at Katherine Manor. Please join us by contacting the Social Action Committee.
Naperville Crop Walk
The Naperville Area CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk is an ecumenical and interfaith effort of nearly 20 Naperville area congregations and organizations to help hungry families in our community and around the world. The annual walk helps hungry families locally through the Loaves and Fishes food pantry in Naperville and the Northern Illinois Food Bank. They also help families around the world through Church World Service. Additionally, we have been able to earmark our pledges and donations to MAZON – a Jewish charitable organization seeking to end hunger.
The Crop Walk occurs in the fall. Watch the CBS Calendar and the news slider on the home page for dates and details.
For 25 years DuPage PADS has provided hope for people who are homeless in DuPage County by offering an array of services that builds toward self-sufficiency and helps to stop the cycle of homelessness. The actual shelter itself rotates through several local congregations on a regular daily schedule. While CBS does not itself host the shelter, we have a committed team who staffs it on the 5th Wednesday of the month, when there is one. On those days, it is held at the First Congregational Church, 25 E Benton Ave, Naperville.
For 12 years, Naperville CARES has been providing short-term financial support and resources to meet the basic needs of local families in crisis. They serve any Naperville resident, or member of a Naperville congregation – including Congregation Beth Shalom. From time to time, we will post news on their fundraising events and calls for volunteers.
For families facing an economic crisis, CARES will make referrals to private and government agencies. When that assistance is not available, CARES provides emergency financial assistance to help pay for basic needs like housing, utilities and transportation. Their Car Program repairs donated cars to make them road worthy for families needing transportation. They also help coordinate assistance with area faith communities and other social service agencies to maximize impact.
What was once a thriving Jewish community in Yekabpils, Latvia, is now a few very small and aging families, in need of our support. We regularly collect clothing, over the counter medicines, and donations to support this community. Please watch our regular bulletins for updates.
Watch this space for information on upcoming blood drives, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, even flu shots. Let us know what you would like to see here.