Ministries & Outreach

Salem provides volunteers and/or support to many ministries - both local and across the world. Here is a sampling: Hope Haven, Safe Passage, We Care Pregnancy Center, “Angel Tree” for Avancer House (Genoa), Meals On Wheels, Salem Food Pantry, Social Justice / Global Missions Team, Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, ELCA World Hunger, and Lutheran World Relief.

Feed my Starving Children

Because Mobile Pack events are not possible due to COVID-  In-Town, Make A Difference DKC has made arrangements to hold slots at three permanent FMSC packing sites until late October.

These packing opportunities are conducted within CDC guidelines and cluster packers in the group they signed up with.  The object is that families and people in social cohorts can pack together, distanced from other groups.  The maximum signup is 5/group.

These slots are available now on a first come, first serve basis.  Neither I nor the Make A Difference DKC event can hold or allocate slots for groups, as has been done in the past for Salem members and friends.

As you know, Salem has been involved in this effort for 10 years, providing volunteers to pack meals and funding to pay for the ingredients.  The need, as many are today, is greater than ever.

 Jim Sauber

Sign-up online

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it."

(Hebrews 13:2)

Salem Food Pantry


 Our pantry's hours have changed.

 We shifted our hours on Wednesdays to later afternoon and have closed the pantry on Thursdays.

Our new  hours:     Tuesdays 9:00-11:45 am

              Wednesdays 3:30-6:00 pm

 Update . . .

 During these pandemic times, Salem's Food Pantry has remained

 open and welcomed many familiar faces and new families.

 Since March 15, 2020 we have helped . . .

 493 Distinct Families

 117 New Families (those who had not visited our pantry before)

 1,444 Total Family Visits – Feeding 4,767 People

 Thank You . . .

 Thank you to everyone at Salem for their support - donations of

 time, money, and prayers.  You have made this possible.

 A special thanks to the volunteers who sort through all of the food donated by Jewel to make sure it's ready for our families!

Thank you to the DeKalb County Community Foundation

 for the recent grant of funds from the Illinois COVID-10 Response Fund (ICRF) to Salem's food pantry to help buy fresh dairy products to support our families. We are grateful and blessed to be part of such a caring and supportive community.

Illinois heard our call for help and answered with the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund. We are a proud recipient of an ICRF grant! Thanks to the #ICRF, many of those hit hardest in our communities now have access to critical resources needed—from emergency food and basic supplies to interim housing and shelter. Now is the time to step up and provide urgent services for those in need during this difficult time. Donate today to help us continue supporting our communities. #WeAreOneIL #ICRF #COVID19

Pipestone Veterinary Services presented Salem Food Pantry with a $1,000. Pipestone serves primarily the pig farming community locally and nationwide. Here is Salem member and Pipestone veterinarian Dr. Wesley Lyons presenting the check to Salem Food Pantry Coordinator Liz Ezell. Thank you Pipestone! 

The new refrigerator arrived and is ready to go for Salem Food Pantry!

A huge thank you to the Midwest Dairy Association and local farmer, Bill Deutsch, for nominating Salem's food pantry to receive their Community Relief Grant. We are thrilled to receive a brand-new, commercial-grade refrigerator to stock with dairy. Midwest Dairy represents 6,500 hardworking dairy farm families throughout the Midwest. ( Their help significantly expands our capacity to provide fresh, healthy dairy products to all of the families we serve.

Liz Ezell and Sabrina Ezell with Jan Kuntz. Salem Food Pantry were one of the lucky recipients of Stage Coach Players Food Drive. They received groceries that filled up a car!

Dear Friends,

Rest assured that while our congregation is connecting online, our Food Pantry is keeping the home fires burning.

A few things have changed:

  • Drive-through Distribution: We push carts of pre-bagged food to families’ cars.
  • A few more families: Overall numbers are up modestly, but we’ve welcomed nearly 40 first-time families in the past 2-3 weeks.
  • Limited food availability: Our perishable donations, especially meat, from Jewel are down. The options for purchase of pantry staples through the Northern IL Food Bank are down dramatically.

A few things have NOT changed:

  • Hours: We’re still open 9:00 -11:45 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
    Starting: Tuesday, October 6, 2020
    Tuesdays 9:00 – 11:45 am, same as current schedule
    Wednesdays: 3:30 – 6:00 pm – new later hours!!
    We will NO longer be open morning hours
    on Wednesdays or Thursdays.
    Questions? Call: 815-895-9171
  • Commitment: We will distribute whatever food we have to help our neighbors.
  • God’s Grace: We seem to be in the right place at the right time, and we always have enough.

What can you do? You are already doing so much. Donations of food and funds from our Salem family are keeping our shelves full; we are inspired and encouraged by your generosity. Still, your help remains critical as we expect the demand for food to increase. Checks can be made payable to Salem Lutheran Church with “Food Pantry” in the memo line. Food donations are also welcome, especially of the items we cannot currently buy from the Food Bank:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta Sauce (plastic/cans)
  • Canned Fruit & Vegetables
  • Rice (plain white or side dishes)
  • Boxed Potatoes
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Meat (tuna, chicken) Salem

Salem Food Pantry, founded in 2000, is open 9:00-11:45 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

It serves all DeKalb County residents.  Please bring a photo ID like a Driver's License
and a recent bill with your current address on it.

Volunteer opportunities are available and donations of food and paper products are always appreciated.


We are looking for help on a variety of tasks at the Pantry – from being a substitute pickup driver to deliver food from Jewel to help stocking our shelves. Available tasks vary depending on the day: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays.
Call the office at 815-895-9171

Items we can always use…
Peanut Butter
Canned Tuna or Chicken
Canned Stew/Hash
Instant potatoes
White Rice
Pasta – noodles, short shapes, etc.

Tuesday 9:00-11:45 a.m. Wednesday 3:30-6:00 p.m.
Salem Food Pantry
1145 DeKalb Avenue
Liz Ezell, Director
Northern Illinois Food Bank
Jewel/Osco - Sycamore