Updated August 17, 2021

We’re All in this Together

 

The Food Bank is committed to continuing our operations and utilizing our staff, volunteers and agency network to serve our neighbors to the best of our ability every day and especially during this crisis. The Food Bank has been responding to the increased need in our communities since mid-March 2020. Learn about recent updates to our COVID-19 response, challenges, and wins below.

Pop Up Market Items*Photo courtesy of Joliet Junior College
 

How to Get Help

Find a Mobile Market
If you or someone you know needs food, you can find your nearest Mobile Market or program here. We strongly recommend calling before you go to confirm distribution dates/times. At the bottom of this page is a list of agency closures which will be updated regularly. We are constantly adding Mobile Market locations throughout our service area. To see if there is one coming to a town near you, visit our Mobile Market Calendar and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates about upcoming distributions.

For the communities of DeKalb, North Chicago and Rockford, you may order groceries online to pick-up at a specified location and time through My Pantry Express.

SNAP
Our SNAP Outreach team is available and continues to assist with SNAP (food stamp) applications and can answer questions in regards to other resources or locating a pantry. Fill out our SNAP Contact Form, or call our hotline at 844-600-7627 to talk with a member of our team or leave a message and a team member will call you back ASAP. 

Other Resources
We know visiting a pantry or seeking help can be difficult when you don’t know what to expect. Read about the Myths and Facts about the charitable food network.

Food is just one of many challenges our neighbors are facing. With that in mind, we have developed the Northern Illinois COVID-19 Resource Guide. It has listings of county-specific and statewide resources available during this time.
 
JJC Pop Up Market


 

How to Give Help

Donate
If you are able to make a financial donation you can help support the Food Bank’s operations during this time of increased need. Every $1 donated helps provide $8 in groceries for our neighbors. Make a gift online now, or mail your gift to 273 Dearborn Court, Geneva, IL, 60134. We also accept gifts of stock or from donor advised funds.

Community Food Donations
After temporarily suspending our community food donations, we are now accepting food donations at our four Centers. We have a contactless drop off bins at each facility and donors may choose to take a receipt if they choose. If you are not close to one of the Food Bank Centers (Geneva, Joliet, Park City, Rockford), we encourage you to find your nearest pantry here, and contact them directly to inquire about their food needs.

Volunteer
Northern Illinois Food Bank has continued to accept and rely on volunteers at our Centers and food distributions. The Food Bank will continue to operate as we have been over the past year in terms of social distancing and mask requirements. As more information arises, we will revisit our protocols and evaluate the vaccination progress across our teams and the community. We feel this is a very important step given our work is public facing with the community and we have the responsibility to be cautious and continue to provide a level of comfort for our team, volunteers and neighbors.

PLEASE NOTE OUR COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDELINES:

Masking and social distancing safety protocols will continue for all center locations and points of distribution given our work and concern with our vulnerable populations including the elderly and young children.

  • Volunteer health certification documentation will no longer be required at center locations or at grocery distributions. A statement outlining our expectations will be included in volunteer shift confirmations.
  • The Food Bank will re-evaluate current protocol and guidelines in September 2021. We will inform our volunteers before we make changes to our protocols.
  • Those who are not fully vaccinated and travel out of state to orange-designated states are required to pre-test and quarantine until negative test results come back.
  • Northern Illinois Food Bank is also asking all staff and volunteers to comply with the Chicago Department of Public Health Emergency Travel Order issued on August 8, 2021. Any unvaccinated people traveling from these states and territories are advised to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival. Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine or receive a negative test.

We will also continue with our modified volunteer shift capacities in order to ensure we have the ability to practice social distancing. You may view openings on our calendar . Please contact a member of the Volunteer Team by emailing search by zip code and contact the location directly to inquire about available volunteer opportunities.


 

Your Impact

The Food Bank is committed to continuing our operations and utilizing our staff, volunteers and agency network to serve our neighbors to the best of our ability every day and especially during this crisis. The Food Bank has been responding to the increased need in our communities since mid-March 2020. In October through March 2021, we have provided over 7M meals monthly, an increase of 3M per month from 2019 at this time.

Some key strategies over the past seven months to meet the increased need:

  • Added pop-up market distributions and increased number of mobile pantry distributions each week- 871 distributions total as of February 2021.
  • Granted over $1.7M in funding to our agency network for food and capacity building.
  • Increased investment in purchased food and aggressively sourced government and donated food.
  • Expanded our SNAP (food stamps) outreach team and hours for hotline to assist neighbors seeking assistance.
  • Increased number of families served at our direct to neighbor programs – My Pantry Express with 17 locations, Winnebago Community Market, Senior Box.