Special needs students from Downers Grove’s Transitions 99 program have been spending their days honing job skills and benefiting community members by working at West Suburban Community Pantry (WSCP). The students, who graduated in December, help stock shelves and prepare deliveries at the pantry. Their work at the pantry often supplements other jobs or classes at College of DuPage.

“Since the easing of Pandemic restrictions, groups have been eager to come back,” Pantry Volunteer Coordinator Colleen Loftus said in a statement. Loftus added, “Whether they are working in the warehouse or the Pantry Store, students get job skills and the experience of helping provide food to the community. And the social interaction is great, for the kids, their helpers and our volunteers.”

In addition to helping others, the work the students do at the pantry is helpful to them by providing motivation and focus.One student, Colton, who lost his mother at a young age, said in a news release, “Working here helps my self-esteem, while I can help people who desperately need help so they can afford to feed their families. They’re suffering. Helping them not suffer helps my suffering.”

Website Development