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Thanksgiving meal distribution canceled after fire in suburban Chicago food pantry

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A suburban nonprofit faces devastating losses after a building caught fire just days before Thanksgiving.

Together We Cope, located in suburban Tinley Park, has helped tens of thousands of families in the southern suburbs over the years, but now it needs help itself.

“It broke our hearts because we were used to giving,” said executive director Kathryn Straniello. We are all here to help people.Some people drove up and we couldn’t help them.It was very hard.”

The nonprofit temporarily closed its building after a fire broke out early Monday morning that damaged its resale store, food pantry, and administrative office.

“When I got here, it was worse than I imagined,” Straniello said. “When we got in here and went through the door, there was a lot of smoke. did.”

The executive director told NBC 5 that the fire broke out behind the resale store. The damage is extensive, with smoke and water damage visible throughout the building.

Tinley Park Mayor Michael Grotz said, “It’s very sad. This reseller brings in about $30,000 a month to help people pay their utilities, rent, bills, housing and food. ”

Their pantry food is smoke contaminated. Damage is estimated at over $300,000.

Worst of all, the fire broke out hours before staff and volunteers were to distribute Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

“We are trying to prepare a letter to reach out to the community and some businesses and see if they can help us,” he said. “It’s going to be a big loss. This place will be closed for a while.”

Residents are donating money online to helpThe nonprofit is now working with other agencies and partners to distribute Thanksgiving meals. Staff are aware that it will take time to reopen, but they say they will bounce back with community support.

“We are determined to do everything we can for our clients this Christmas,” Straniello said. Good luck, we will be back and will continue to help you in all ways.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation. No one was injured.click here If you want to donate to help a non-profit organization.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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