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SHARE Market reopens to nourish bodies and minds

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 21, 2021

College of Lake County’s (CLC) food pantry reopened with stocked shelves this spring. The college’s SHARE Market offers convenient access to the community because it is onsite at the Grayslake Campus, open when students need it and accessible by the local PACE Bus route. CLC works to advance the diverse communities it serves by addressing food insecurity needs. The pandemic has heightened the emergency need for food experienced by both college students and surrounding neighbors.

CLC student taking some supplies from the SHARE Market shelves“To make sure students in need don’t miss work or class to get food to feed their kids, we’re open whenever they need us,” said Tammy Burns, student services specialist. In addition to the standing hours five days a week, the SHARE Market offers services by appointment.

Located in Room B013, the SHARE Market support service is committed to providing food and other resources that are accessible to all students who have a need, and to promoting sustainable food practices in order to continuously improve the quality of the CLC experience for the diverse community it serves. Students can select from meal kits, toiletries, baby items, non-perishables and household items.

Burns said while the SHARE Market was closed, she directed students to United Way of Lake County’s 211 program. The phone number is a free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral helpline connecting individuals and families in need with access to available health and human services. Each month, food is the third most requested need in Lake County. The organization’s annual report says since the pandemic began, there has been a 395 percent increase in food requests with a total of 678 referrals to food pantries.

Since last October, CLC continues to serve its community as a Northern Illinois Food Bank’s (NIFB) Pop-Up Market. As the primary Lake County location, the Grayslake campus hosts a bi-weekly Pop-Up Market. Anyone in need of food assistance is encouraged to pull up CLC’s Parking Lot 3 off the entrance at Lancer Lane. Identification is not required, and volunteers will deliver food directly to cars. People must stay in their vehicles. The 30 lb. box includes a gallon of milk, produce, protein and dairy, enough food for a family of five for two weeks.

The NIFB Pop-Up Market is open from 2-5 p.m. on the following dates: May 4 and 18, June 1, 15 and 29. The NIFB serves 13 counties, including Lake County. Pop-up manager Mike Keane said they can distribute food boxes to 1,000 families at each CLC pop-up market.

Research shows that understanding and addressing student needs holistically can lead to dramatic improvements in students’ outcomes. In addition to these food opportunities, CLC provides technology for students in need and offers financial support with the Lancer Emergency Assistance Fund where students can seek money for things like bus cards and childcare costs. CLC also offers mental health services including counseling, psychological support and even legal assistance.

About College of Lake County:

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.

About Northern Illinois Food Bank:

Northern Illinois Food Bank, Illinois’s largest food bank by distribution and the food bank for the suburbs of Chicago, is a non-profit organization that has engaged the community in creating access to nutritious groceries for neighbors in need since 1983. Through its Centers in Geneva, Park City, Rockford and Joliet, and through its network of more than 900 member food pantries and feeding sites, the Food Bank distributed more than 80 million meals last year—the equivalent of 220,000 meals daily—across its 13-county service area. Learn how to give help or get help today at, or call (630) 443-6910. Northern Illinois Food Bank is a proud member of Feeding America.