Designing a Church Food Pantry that Models the Love of Jesus
Shepherd’s Heart Care Center, located in Chapelstreet Church’s South Street campus in Geneva, Illinois, serves 1400 people in the Tri-City area. When this ministry began in 1999, it was a simple food pantry closet with pre-packed bags, where families in need could get a helping hand, but the small, tucked away space wasn’t sufficient to allow the team to actually build relationship with the people they served. Years later, a new, larger location offered more visibility, and the ministry grew to serve more families. But it wasn’t long before they were again busting at the seams, so they decided to expand again, but they didn’t want to limit their help to food only.
Shepherd’s Heart new care center serves the community by not only offering food, but also help for those who are in financial crisis through a job search ministry, budgeting assistance, and legal services. They also offer help for those who need simple home repairs, as well as assistance for those who are struggling with addiction.
Hear the Story Behind the Space:
Aspen partnered with Shepherd’s Heart on an addition and renovation, aligning our goal for the project with Shepherd’s Heart’s goal of providing a dignified space for anyone who enters, and helping them support and build relationship with the people in their community. We wanted the space to feel warm and inviting and have a welcoming, “family room” atmosphere.
Some highlights from the project include:
A new dedicated entrance and vestibule addition with roof overhang:
“Our intention was to provide a dignified space for anyone who enters—that was the main goal that carried us through this project.” -Kristen Freeman, Interior Designer, Aspen Group
A bright, welcoming entrance, with clear signage:
A spacious lobby with a variety of seating for individuals and families:
“The genius of the lobby is that it’s become additional meeting space for our team during off-pantry hours. The tables and comfortable seating are spread apart, so there’s plenty of room. We’ve been able to schedule more meetings now and use the lobby in addition to our conference meeting area.” –Erin Wise, Director of Shepherd’s Heart Care Center
Fully stocked marketplace food pantry with built in accessible storage:
“A lot of food pantries use metal shelving units. When you come to our pantry, it's so beautiful and warm with these cubbies with baskets, and different wood tones—and through the generosity of our community, we’re filling those baskets.” –Erin Wise, Director of Shepherd’s Heart Care Center
This unique renovation also includes larger meeting areas, administrative spaces, storage, and a distribution center.
Through this thriving ministry, staff and volunteers are building relationships with neighbors and the community, as well as sharing the gospel and modeling the love of Jesus—and they’re seeing the lives of their guests being transformed in the process.
“Now that this beautiful space has been created for us to meet with families, we’re starting to see transformation happen in their lives.” –Erin Wise, Director of Shepherd’s Heart Care Center
Read more about Shepherd's Heart Care Center's unique addition and renovation here.