Vine Street Market in O’Fallon IL opens fourth season
During difficult times, the O’Fallon Community Pantry was there for those in need.
Mayor Herb Roach recognized their service over the past 30 years with a proclamation at the O’Fallon City Council meeting on Monday, May 16.
The group also received two donations — a check for $1,000 from O’Fallon Booster Clubpresented by Alderman Dan Witt, and $800 from Hi-Pointe Drive-In, presented by co-owner Jackie Roach, who said he raised the funds on a soft opening night to help train workers.
The food pantry, which operates at 801 E. State St., is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is a volunteer-run community organization committed to providing food to eligible customers. who reside in zip code 62269.
Open since 1992, it was started as a mission of the churches of O’Fallon and Shiloh and has grown into a community-wide food pantry supported not only by churches, but also by civic organizations, businesses and individuals.
Customers are allowed to use the services once every 30 days and receive a variety of items – canned goods, meat, milk, eggs and personal hygiene products.
In 2019, they served an average of 265 families or 759 individuals per month, and their food purchases averaged $9,703 per month. Since 2020, the need has increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
To stock their shelves with non-perishable food, they depend on the annual Mail-In Food Drive in May and the Boy Scout Food Drive in November. They buy the fresh food products to distribute, relying on donations throughout the year.
The pantry is governed by a board of directors and is responsible for policy decisions and the general direction of the operation.
The mayor pointed out that for 24 of those 30 years, Patty Strube was involved. She attended the presentation, along with the members of the board of directors.
Strube thanked the community for their help.
“I would like to thank all of our volunteers, the whole community for their generosity and all those who work together to make a difference. We appreciate it,” she said.
Learn more about the pantry
The board of directors, according to their website, includes Strube, her husband Larry Strube, Angela Breen, Marge Ballard, Leo Deimel, Mary Grimmer, Bob Koss, Michelle Laverdure, Betty Kueker, Debbie McCauley, Ella Sewell, Ed Breen and Mary Schieler.
Those interested in dropping off items can call 618-624-7040 or visit during their regular hours of 9 a.m. to noon Monday or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday or Friday.
Volunteers can help fill customer food orders, restock the pantry, and help sort large food drives on the second Saturday in May (Stamp Out Hunger) and third Saturday in November (Scouting for Food).
Volunteers also help with weekly shopping and collecting items donated by local merchants. They must be 16 years or older. If interested, call or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their website is www.ofallonfoodpantry.org.
Recognized public security
The mayor also recognized the public safety department – police, fire, EMS and MECOMM dispatch center – with a proclamation highlighting their outstanding service. It was Police and Emergency Medical Services Appreciation Weeks, and Roach said he thought they should honor all departments for their dedication and outstanding service.
On behalf of the departments, Director of Public Safety Kirk Brueggeman said the 150-person staff are committed to doing their best for the city and appreciate the support of residents to do their jobs.
More from the mayor
In his report, the mayor announced that the city-sponsored Memorial Day events would take place at 9 a.m. at the City of O’Fallon Cemetery and 11 a.m. at the city’s Veterans Monument on Monday, 30 may.
There will not be a fifth Monday meeting due to the holidays, but there will be a quarterly town hall meeting on Wednesday, June 15.
The mayor recently announced good news for those who serve the city:
- Library director Ryan Johnson was recently elected president-elect of the Illinois Library Association.
- Alderman Todd Roach was recently elected chair of the Statewide Access and Operating Needs Advisory Committee for Emergency Planning.
- The mayor was recently re-elected vice-chairman of the St. Clair County transportation committee.
Founders Day, Vine Street Market
Brian Keller, president of the O’Fallon Historical Society and member of the Downtown Merchants Committee, was thrilled with the turnout for Founders Day and the growth of the market.
Saturday, May 14 also marked the start of the fourth season of Vine Street Market.
“The weather certainly cooperated on Saturday (May 14) – quite different from the inaugural market opening day on May 11, 2019, when it rained. I saw lots of smiles and people happy to be able to resume the Saturday morning routine of visiting the market each week.
“Its Vine Street Market Coordinator, Sarah Burton, has certainly done an incredible job of making the market not only a popular destination, but also an important economic catalyst for the downtown area. O’Fallon is very lucky to have her!
It should be noted that the market has seen an expansion of kiosks beyond O’Fallon station along the train tracks to the Chamber of Commerce office.
Alderman Jerry Albrecht described the turnout as “exceptional” and said the market was very different from last year.
“We have a real gem there,” he said at the council meeting on Monday May 16.