Posted by Hoff on Oct 12, 2017
Julie Villarreal, Director of General Assistance, spoke to us about some of the many services provided by the Wheeling Township for its community residents.  “Its mission is to responsibly apply your tax dollars.”  By law the Township performs road and bridge maintenance, assesses your property tax, and provides general assistance to the residents… 
Julie Villarreal, Director of General Assistance, spoke to us about some of the many services provided by the Wheeling Township for its community residents.  “Its mission is to responsibly apply your tax dollars.”  By law the Township performs road and bridge maintenance, assesses your property tax, and provides general assistance to the residents.  “Townships were the original form of government in our country.”
 
General assistance includes services to seniors, the disabled and the indigent.  Specifically, these services include food, transportation, financial assistance for certain necessities, information/referrals, dental care and access to health care.  Many of these services work in cooperation with other service organizations for instance, dispensing Salvation Army funds.
 
The Wheeling Food Pantry(WFP) is funded by the Wheeling Township Emergency Fund which is a 501(c)(3) organization.  Since 2012 it has been operating as a “client choice” food pantry where previously it was providing a pre-selected bag of items to the “clients”.  This choice allows the Food Pantry to acquire goods that meet the demand, and therefore, is a more efficient use of limited funds and minimizes waste.
 
The WFP is a member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository(GCFD).  “We have a staff of 43 working 11 shifts each week.  In 2016, 12,888 persons were fed with senior citizens making up the largest segment.  Our club recently donated $6,000 which was used to purchase a commercial refrigerator for $1700 and the remainder used to purchase 17,000 pounds of food from the GFCD.  The refrigerator is used to store eggs and cheese.
 
In addition to cash and food received from individuals’ donations, the Pantry receives seasonal harvest directly from local gardens – St. Viator School, Lincoln Middle School, to name a few.
 
Ms. Villarreal can be reached at 847-259-7730 or jvillarreal@wheelingtownship.com.