We’re so thankful for the support we’ve received during the holidays! Your generous spirit helped us to provide more than 29,000 Holiday Meal Boxes to hungry neighbors in your community.
But hunger is a reality year-round for people who struggle to make ends meet. Resolve to help us solve hunger this year by adopting one or more of our New Year’s Resolutions!
Save money and reduce food waste by planning meals before you shop. Only buy what you will eat, and actually eat what you buy before the expiration date! Speaking of expiration dates: not sure if your half empty gallon of milk is still safe to drink? Check out our blog post on Use/Sell/Best-By Dates.
Composting is another great way to be food smart about produce past its prime. Did you know that Northern Illinois Food Bank composted 238 tons of food scrap last year? Organic material – like apple cores or potato peels – takes a much longer time to decompose in a landfill (where it lacks the oxygen needed to break down) and is the third largest source of methane in our landfills (which harms the environment). Learn how to create a compost system for your kitchen and garden, and use your municipal curbside food scrap pick up program (where available).
It’s easy to get involved in our fight against hunger by simply talk about the issue of hunger with family, friends, and co-workers. Sharing stories about the challenges facing our hungry neighbors, as well as the work being done by the Food Bank and our network, helps educate and engage more people in our mission.
The calendar is filled with natural conversation topics to jump start discussions about hunger. Here are just a couple of ideas:
Convenient and portable, canned foods are an enduring staple in the drive to solve hunger and have long been an ideal source of donations to food drives at schools, offices and churches. Revered for having a long shelf life, canned foods – and particularly those that are high in protein and low in sodium and sugar – are important for families and individuals who don’t always have access to fresh produce.
During March, the Food Bank will be highlighting its commitment to providing neighbors in need with access to a healthy diet that includes fresh produce, dairy, meat and other protein sources. Last year, Northern Illinois Food Bank distributed more than 14.9 million pounds of produce, and the Milk2MyPlate Program distributed more than 2.6 million servings of nutritious milk.
We also invite you to participate in the Food Bank’s many events throughout the year. Visit our event calendar to learn more and sign up. And, if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook to stay updated about this year’s events and more!
We’re so grateful to everyone who selflessly gives their time and talent to support our mission year in and year out. In fiscal year 2016 alone, more than 31,000 unique volunteers donated 155,182 hours of their time – equivalent to 74 additional full-time employees! You can see some of the smiling faces that come through our doors to volunteer on our Volunteer Photo Gallery.
If sorting and repacking food in the warehouse isn’t your cup of tea, learn more about other volunteering opportunities available at our three locations and other volunteer opportunities – including: Skills-Based Volunteering and our VolunTeens Program (now accepting applications for Spring 2017, due January 18!)
Did you know that every $1 you donate to the Food Bank provides $8 worth of food for our hungry neighbors? Where else can you get a return on your investment like that! Beyond providing food, donations also help keep our trucks on the road, picking up and delivering donated food to our agency partners so it gets in the hands of those who need it. Any donation – from $10 to $10,000 – is greatly appreciated and can have a lasting impact on your community.
Looking for a unique gift alternative for a special occasion – perhaps a birthday or anniversary? Learn how you can start your personal fundraising campaign and get your friends and family involved in giving the gift of meals!
With your support, we know we can provide every meal, every day, to every hungry neighbor.