Schaumburg, IL–(ENEWSPF)–September 18, 2015. Today, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) announced LaVerne Horgan, Food Pantry Manager at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Schaumburg, IL, will be her guest for Pope Francis’s historic Joint Address to Congress.
Since the food pantry opened in 2004, LaVerne has volunteered her time each week to oversee the operations and distribute food. This year alone, the food pantry in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository has helped over 2,900 families in Schaumburg and the surrounding suburbs put food on the table. Their work is critical, because 1 in 7 Illinoisans are food insecure.
“I am proud to bring LaVerne Horgan as my guest to Pope Francis’s address,” Duckworth said. “LaVerne and the many food pantry volunteers at Church of Holy Spirit and across the country represent the best in our community. Hunger is an issue that is deeply important to me and I am very happy to see that Pope Francis has made it a priority.”
Congresswoman Duckworth has been a strong advocate for food security and anti-hunger initiatives. Her family relied on food stamps and school lunches to help get through a difficult period after her father lost his job. In Congress she has fought efforts to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and has held roundtables and other events on the topic in the 8th District to increase awareness and inspire action. In 2013, she offered an amendment to require a report to Congress on the effects that draconian proposed SNAP cuts would have on the ability of charitable food providers, like the Church of Holy Spirit food pantry, to meet demand. She has also advocated for expanding the USDA Summer Nutrition Program to help more children access quality meals during the summer months.
“I am grateful for the selfless work of the thousands of food pantry and soup kitchen volunteers around the country who are on the front lines of alleviating hunger,” Duckworth said. “As lawmakers, we have a lot to learn from them. We also have a responsibility to protect the federal programs that are so critical to supporting their work. I am committed to doing so in Congress.”
The Church of the Holy Spirit was founded in 1974 to serve the Catholic community in the northwest suburbs and the growing diverse population. The Congresswoman and her staff have volunteered at the food pantry and worked with the presiding pastor Reverend John Dearhammer and parishioners on their efforts with food security, gun violence and immigration.