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people face hunger

Hunger Action Month encourages public to get involved in spreading awareness of hunger in our community “If it were not for the food I received today, I would not have any.” That’s a statement you might not expect to hear in Kane County, but it’s what both Stan in Big Rock and Mike in Aurora told Northern Illinois Food Bank recently. Hunger in the suburbs can easily go unnoticed because our hungry neighbor often looks like us: he lives on the same street; she may drive the same car; we may wear the same clothes. Your hungry neighbor could be your co-worker, your child’s classmate, or the man standing next to you in the checkout line of the grocery store. We may not see hunger in our community, but the reality is that one in eight of our suburban neighbors doesn’t have enough to eat. Northern Illinois Food Bank, a nonprofit organization based in Geneva, Ill., provides food to more than 60,000 people each week through a network of local food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior programs in 13 counties. In Kane County, the food bank works with 68 feeding programs to ensure that our neighbors have food in their time of need. Last year Northern Illinois Food Bank provided more than 33 million meals to hungry neighbors. The food bank turns every dollar donated into six meals. September is Hunger Action Month. Northern Illinois Food Bank

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invites you to join us in generating awareness of the issue of hunger in our community. Learn more about the work Northern Illinois Food Bank is doing at SolveHungerToday.org. Join our volunteer corps by repacking food in our West Suburban Center in Geneva, or providing office or professional assistance. Start a dialogue about hunger with your family and co-workers. Hold a food drive or donate to our virtual food drive via our website. Every $1 donated provides six meals. Local businesses have also teamed up with the food bank to promote Hunger Action Month. Through the Give A Little, Feed A Lot campaign, shoppers can donate food and funds throughout September at Jewel-Osco locations. Hotel Arista in Naperville will light up orange for the month, the color for hunger awareness; Northern Illinois University will hold a food drive at its first home football game on Sept. 8; and California Pizza Kitchen, CityGate Grille, Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream, Francesca’s By The River, Lou Malnati’s, Nancy’s Pizza and Sugar Toad restaurants have joined the Dine Out For Hunger campaign, designating certain days where proceeds will benefit Northern Illinois Food Bank. Find Dine Out For Hunger details and coupons, as well as a calendar of “30 Days/30 Ways” to Get Involved at SolveHungerToday.org. With your support, we can ensure that our hungry neighbors have nutritious food in their time of need.


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Wednesday, September 5, 2012

| Northern Illinois Food Bank - Hunger Action Month

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Child Nutrition Programs ensure children have access to nutritious food Visit any area school and chances are 20 percent of the children —or one in five — don’t have enough to eat. Because children don’t focus well when they are hungry, and proper nutrition plays a key role in a child’s physical and mental development, Northern Illinois Food Bank is dedicated to ensuring children have access to nutritious food. More than 11,500 kids received meals and snacks through Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Child Nutrition Programs last year. These programs include after-school programs providing snacks or suppers; summer breakfast, lunch and snack programs; and the BackPack Program.

The BackPack Program provides food for children who don’t have access to enough food over the weekend. About 1,220 kids per week receive a backpack full of nutritious food. The childfriendly food provides the child and two siblings with breakfast, lunch and supper for Saturday and Sunday. The BackPack program is funded solely through private donations. Northern Illinois Food Bank can provide a backpack of food to a child for just $15. To learn more about this program, or to donate, please visit www. SolveHungerToday.org or call 630-443-6910.


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Have you ever been in a grocery store and looked at a package nearing the sell-by date? Ever wonder what happens to that product if no one purchases it? Through Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Food Recovery Program, 12.5 million pounds of fresh produce, meat, and dry and canned goods were saved from a landfill in FY12 and provided nourishment for our hungry neighbors. Started in 2000 in partnership with Jewel-Osco, Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Food Recovery program has grown to include more than 180 local retailers. Lead donors for FY12 are Jewel-Osco and Wal-Mart, who donated 7.6 million and 3.2 million pounds respectively to the Food Recovery Program. Other participating retailers include: Costco, Cub, Food 4 Less, Hilander, Kroger, Mariano’s Fresh Market, Meijer, Sam’s Club and Target.

Mobile pantries deliver directly to neighbors in need In addition to providing food through a network of 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and youth and senior centers, Northern Illinois Food Bank has a number of other programs to assist hungry neighbors.

Families like Nicky’s. Nicky lost her job as a junior high school cook when an accident required her to have surgery. Unable to support herself and her two children, she turned to local pantries and the food bank’s mobile pantry. While Nicky has again found employment, her paycheck doesn’t cover all her expenses, so she continues to visit the mobile pantry to ensure her family has enough to eat. And, grateful for the help she has received, Nicky volunteers at the pantries that have helped her. To learn more about Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry, visit www.SolveHungerToday.org.

• Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One of those programs is the Mobile Pantry. Two refrigerated trucks filled with thousands of pounds of fresh produce, frozen meat and dry goods made 371 visits last year to high-need communities. Set-up much like a farmers’ market where neighbors in need can choose the food that meets their palate and dietary preferences, the mobile pantries provide food to up to 300 families per visit.

Northern Illinois Food Bank - Hunger Action Month | Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com

Retail donations help our hungry neighbors


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Wednesday, September 5, 2012

| Northern Illinois Food Bank - Hunger Action Month

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