Catholic Charities of Lake County Sees Overwhelming Demand for Food and Christmas Gifts for Needy Families

kidwithgiftThe poor economy means food pantries and other service agencies are seeing extraordinarily high demand for food and other items, and here’s how you can help this holiday season.


Catholic Charities of Lake County, based in Waukegan, had 12,000 families register to receive Christmas gifts last year. This year, the number is 13,000.

The organization is in need of gifts for kids, seniors and families.

To adopt a family for Christmas and get a list of suggested items along with details such as ages and clothing sizes, contact Jim Wogan at 847-782-4126.

The drop-off site is:

2231 N. Lewis Ave., Waukegan

Drop-off dates are:

Sunday, Dec. 6, 3-6 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 7, 9:30-5
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 9:30-5

You may drop-off generic gifts at those times as well as long as they are new. The organization is particularly in need of:

  • Comforters
  • New toys
  • Size 1X and up nightgowns for women

Demand for food at the food pantry has also grown by 42% from last year, when Catholic Charities served 92,000 meals.

Food pantry donations can be dropped of from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at:

671 S. Lewis Ave., Waukegan

The pantry is particularly in need of:

  • Peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Donations of funds—if you write a check to Catholic Charities, they can buy in bulk double the amount of food that you would be able to buy at the grocery store, thanks to a partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank. To donate, visit