Fridays usually mark the end of work week and the start of a much-deserved weekend, but that wasn’t the case at Northern Illinois Food Bank’s West Suburban Center in Geneva on Friday, May 5. The excitement around the Food Bank’s second annual Access, Capability, and Engagement (ACE) Conference had the hallways buzzing in the days and weeks leading up to that particular Friday morning.
After months of planning and preparation, the Food Bank was thrilled to gather 197 guests representing 89 network member agencies for a day of learning, sharing and networking. The conference was specifically designed to:
Best practices from across the Food Bank network were highlighted in 24 informative sessions throughout the day-long event, covering a wide variety of topics including fundraising, social media, community gardening, food safety basics, advocacy, disaster preparedness, senior hunger, and specialized healthy cooking demos for food pantries and soup kitchens among others. Attendees were able to select four sessions throughout the day to best fit their needs and interests.
Lindsey Perry, Agency Training and Development Manager at the Food Bank, explained, “with more than 800 member agencies across over 13 counties, the ACE Conference is a small but important step to provide agencies with the opportunity to inspire and support each other in the spirit of collaboration in the fight against hunger.”
When the conference came to a close, agency representatives left filled with new ideas and practical tools they could use to better serve their community along with Northern Illinois Food Bank. Thank you to all of our agency representatives who attended ACE 2017!
We would also like to thank our member agencies for everything they do day in and day out for our hungry neighbors—for being our boots on the ground, and for being the first line of friendly faces who greet our 71,500 neighbors with a smile each week and offer them hope. Without their hard work, much of the work we do at the Food Bank every day, and the food and funds so generously donated simply would not make it to our hungry neighbors.