Pounds of food almost wasted after ComEd cuts power to food pant - FOX 32 News Chicago

Pounds of food almost wasted after ComEd cuts power to food pantry

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A day after a suburban food pantry had its power cut off, and then turned back on, the agency was busy helping the needy.

More than 175 people came out Wednesday morning to the LBD Enterprises pantry in Hazel Crest, where they were provided with bags of food. Those bags included frozen chicken and sausages.

The owner feared the food was going to spoil after ComEd shut off her power when she fell behind on her bill. The power was restored after FOX 32 News contacted ComEd.

The pantry is still in need of financial donations: DONATE HERE

It all began when a long time food pantry operator in the south suburbs fell on hard times and when she came into work Tuesday at LBD Enterprises, which she founded 38 years ago, Loquator Dinkins found out her power had been shut off.

“After we go and pick up six thousand pounds of food yesterday, today we come in, the lights are off,” Dinkins said with a sigh of frustration.

This past winter her electric bills skyrocketed and major regular donors were unable to continue their support.

“They said they fell in bad luck and we'll see what we can do later, but you see later is not where it's at, you got to have money now to pay these bills, because later, you see with Commonwealth Edison they don't wait for later, they want their money now,” Dinkins said.

Dinkins fell behind on her electric bill, and Tuesday ComEd followed through with the service disconnect warning, even though Dinkins she said she called ComEd several times asking for assistance.

So, she called FOX 32 News for help, and after we called ComEd the company dispatched an emergency crew, and just after we arrived, Dinkins got her power back.

“See that's what really happened, you all woke them up of what's happening out here,” Dinkins said with a smile on her face.

Which means six thousand pounds of frozen food won't spoil and can be handed out to needy families. And while ComEd waived more than $2000 of her bill, the company required Dinkins to pay $1000 dollars. Money she did not really have.

“She decided to take her mortgage, and pay for the light bill instead of taking care of her household,” said her son Tyrone Smith, who is now worried about how his mother will pay her mortgage this month.

Dinkins is hoping and praying for a miracle keep the pantry going.

“Well, I'll figure out the Lord will make a way, He'll make a way, he always do. He sent you all to me. That was a blessing,” Dinkins said.

She said she has lost about $10,000 in regular monthly donations and the savings she had been using to make up the difference has now been used up.

ComEd told FOX 32 News it was unaware that LBD Enterprises was a charity organization, until we told them. The pantry is also affiliated with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which provides the agency with food.

If you would like to help, you can make donations on the pantry’s website, or visit LBD Enterprises.

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