Family’s sandwich assembly line helps food pantry
sandwich-NBS-0628-01 Left, Charlie Hines, 13, a Sunset Ridge Northfield School eighth grader, assembles lunches in the Osher family's Northbrook home June 25. Karie Angell Luc~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:54AM
Marcia Osher, a 13-year Northbook resident, is grateful for the chance to contibute to her community with a sandwich-making mission to serve children in need.
“Well,” said Osher, a stay-at-home mom, “I don’t want to sound corny, but I believe to whom much is bestowed, much is expected.
Osher and her husband Jerry, an internal medicine physician, have two children, Gabi, 13, a Sunset Ridge Northfield eighth-grader. Their son Noah, 11, is a sixth-grader there.
“I volunteer at our Temple Jeremiah (in Northfield),” said Osher. “And once a month (at Temple Jeremiah) we make lunches, bag lunches, two sandwiches, chips and an apple” for the homeless in northern Chicagoland.
Osher explained how meal-making for adults transitioned locally to children living in and near Northbrook .
“And so I was taking leftovers to the (Northfield Township) food pantry,” said Osher, of food remaining from Temple Jeremiah ’s meal initiatives.
It was there Osher talked with Mary Lou Kratochwill, Northfield Township food pantry coordinator.
Kratochwill told Osher: “’Boy, could we use those in the summer for kids who are not in school getting the free and reduced lunches,’” said Osher.
Currently, the food pantry serves 500 children, who “are often going to camp with no lunch.”
“And I said, ‘Mary Lou, I can make this happen.’’
Osher’s daughter and her friends then committed to a sandwich assembly train.
At first attempt, observed Osher: “Gosh, we only made 80 lunches…”
They made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (good to store room temperature). One other sandwich protein was turkey, coupled with cheese.
These are an example of the healthy lunches Osher’s children enjoy.
But next time, the goal is more lunches. Learning curve.
“I spent $150 at Costco,” said Osher, hoping others might wish to donate to this initiative, also in perpetuity over coming summers.
“I want them (children receiving the lunches) to have some protein and the bread that was donated was really good quality.”
Highland Baking in Northbrook donates and delivers the bread fresh on Monday mornings to the Glenview-based pantry, with Osher picking it up.
“This is a wonderful project and we are happy to be partnering with Marcia to help provide to our neighbors in need,” said Kratochwill.
“What a blessing for the families who visit the pantry.”
Kratochwill added: “Over 575 local families are eligible to visit the Northfield Township Food Pantry each month.
“District 225 registration starts in July which will bring many more families to the food pantry needing assistance.”
To assist in this sandwich-making program and to learn more, visit http://www.northfieldtownship.com/pantry.html