From refried beans to green beans, fruit cocktail to cranberry sauce – canned foods are a staple for families across the country. Even though these foods are as nutritious as fresh or frozen products (if not more)(1), canned foods tend to get a bad rap. They are often less desirable to the everyday shopper.
Part of our mission at Northern Illinois Food Bank is to provide nutritious meals to those in need, and shelf stable foods are a large part of that goal.
For families and individuals who don’t always have access to the nutrition found in fresh produce, canned food is one of the most accessible and convenient ways of getting that nutrition. The extended shelf life of canned food allows that nutrition to be available for a longer duration without the worry of a pressing expiration date.
Canned foods are a popular item at food drives, making them an enduring staple in the fight against hunger. In fact, our largest food drive within our current fiscal year mainly consisted of canned goods.
During January, our friends at Reyes Holdings creatively collected 6,295 pounds of food for our hungry neighbors. To build excitement and interest in their annual food drive, Reyes hosts a food drive competition called the “Reyes Cup.” The food drive consists of a competitive mini-golf course made out of the donated food. The Reyes Cup trophy is awarded to the team that wins the course.
Reyes made their most recent food drive even more unique by adding a raffle component. They raised $3,000 in contributions through the raffle which, thanks to the generous donations of food manufacturers and retailers, our volunteers, and our efficiency, the Food Bank was able to turn into $24,000 worth of food!
Reyes Holdings puts fun into their food drive because they believe giving is fun. We are so grateful that they put their creativity to work to help feed our hungry neighbors, and we are so grateful for their constant support through their food drives in previous years.
Our friends at NuMark Credit Union also got creative with canned goods. During their food drive in January, teams built everything from the Willis Tower to the Cubs logo with donated cans of food.
While having fun and fighting hunger, NuMark strives to truly understand what it’s like to be in a situation with limited resources.
“I really wanted our staff to feel the involvement,” said Linda Krakora, NuMark Credit Union Training & Development Manager, while sharing her thoughts on supporting Northern Illinois Food Bank.
We are so grateful to Reyes Holdings and NuMark for their creativity in helping us feed our hungry neighbors. Their dedication makes a difference within the community.
Food drives are an important way the community can get involved by collecting nutritious canned foods, along with other food items that are needed by the Food Bank, for those who are hungry in Northern Illinois.
February is National Canned Food Month and it’s a great time to get involved in the fight against hunger by hosting a food drive with your school, business, or as an individual!
To host a food drive for Northern Illinois Food Bank, get started at SolveHungerToday.org/FoodandFundDrive
Some items that are most needed at the Food Bank include various canned goods, grains, proteins, fruits, and vegetables. The full list can be found here.
For questions or more information, contact Special Events and Promotions Coordinator Kate Thomas: Email or call (630) 443-6910 ext. 117
(1) Hopwood, Ashley. “National Canned Food Month | Glory Foods.” Glory Foods. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.