SATURDAY FOOD PANTRY
The Church of Peace Saturday Food Pantry is open from 9-11 every Saturday. We serve approximately 32 families a month that amounts to around 96 individuals. The Church of Peace works with nine local churches and several local organizations to provide a food pantry that is available outside of usual pantry hours.
Each family receives a 3 to 4 day supply of food that includes items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our staff and volunteers package the food bundles with focus on items from each of the food groups. Toilet tissue, bath soap, shampoo, dish detergent, and laundry soap are also available when they are in stock. Moms can also request a package of disposable baby diapers to help them get through until their next payday. The Church of Peace depends on donations from our partners, community members, and organizations to help keep the pantry stocked and open.
The Church of Peace has made it a mission to provide meals for the neighborhood children when school is not in session. It is difficult to make sure that there is food on the table for children, especially when they are home all day. Breakfast is served from 9-9:30 am, and lunch is served from 12-12:30 pm Monday through Friday during the intercession breaks from Rock Island Schools. Children do not have to be a student at Rock Island Schools to take advantage of these programs. Volunteers keep this program running, and the church also caters meals to other sites in the Rock Island area. In 2009, approximately 350 children per day were fed at the five sites that the Church of Peace sponsored.
In addition, an activity program is offered to the children during the summer months of the school’s intercession. Crafts, field trips, swim passes, and speakers are usually on the agenda to keep the children interested between the breakfast and lunch meals. During 2009, approximately 60 children per day took advantage of this summer experience.
Other sites include:
Rock Island High School 7:30 – 8:00 am
Horace Mann School 10:45 – 11:15 am
Frances Willard Breakfast from 8:30 – 9:00 am Lunch from 11:30 – 12:00 pm
Intermediate Academy 11:45 – 12:15 pm
Denkmann School 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Ridgewood School 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Church of Peace Breakfast from 9:00 – 9:30 am Lunch from 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Century Woods 12:30 – 1:00 pm
Valley View Homes in Moline 11:30 – 12:00 pm
The Church of Peace volunteers sell new children’s books two times a month for only 50 cents each at the nearby elementary Academy school. While the books are worth much more, this price allows children to buy books of their own to have at home. Some kids not only improve their own reading ability, but also teach their younger brothers and sisters to read. The usual sales times are from 11-12 noon on the first and third Fridays of each month when school is in session.
LIGHTS ON FOR LEARNING
English As a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered to neighborhood residents on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from September through May at the Church of Peace. These classes are held from 9 am-2 pm, and childcare is offered to parents who have children that are not attending school. These classes are offered through a grant from the State of Illinois, and in a partnership with Black Hawk College who provides the teachers, and Rock Island Schools who provides the administration.
The childcare for the students’ children is DCFS exempt. Childcare providers are employed through Church of Peace, and snacks are offered to the children during the morning hours.
DIAPERS FOR BABY JESUS
Our church collects hundreds of diapers at Christmas time for our neighbors. These are packaged into smaller quantities and given out throughout the year to mothers who need assistance.
COMMUNITY CARING CONFERENCE
In the 1970s, the Church of Peace was faced with the decision of whether to stay in the changing neighborhood or relocate outside of the city. After studying the situation, the church made the decision to stay in this location and in 1976 launched the organization called the Community Caring Conference. The CCC has tackled such projects as crime prevention programs, neighborhood clean-up, street lighting, public education, GED preparation, neighborhood block clubs, Child IDs, National Night Out, and a voice in policy making at City Hall. For more information and how you can get involved, visit their website at www.ricaring.org.
Neighbors call on the church and ask for food vouchers, bus vouchers, and monetary assistance for rent, utility or deposit or any number of financial needs. We help them through different community resources, Churches United, and the parish nurse has also been involved to help find resources in the medical area.
Each summer several youth/adult groups come from other churches for a week to do work in the Quad Cities. They work on houses and other projects in the area that need assistance. If your church is interested in coming during the summer, visit the Work Camps page for more information.