Thanks to the generous support of our donors and volunteers, alongside the tireless work of our member agency partners, the Food Bank was able to distribute 69 million meals this past fiscal year to our hungry neighbors across Northern Illinois. And we intend to move forward in new and strategic ways!
Below, you will learn the impact of your support across our 13 counties, and together we’ll look ahead at a new year of growth and innovation.
In FY19, the Food Bank achieved meal growth in 3 of 4 target counties – DeKalb, Kankakee, and Winnebago.
In total, the Food Bank distributed 69 million meals, which is a 5% increase from the previous fiscal year!
Ensuring nutritious groceries are available to our neighbors is our priority – including fresh produce, protein, and milk. The Food Bank distributed 337k gallons of fresh milk through our Milk2MyPlate program and milk provided to us by USDA through Emergency Food Program.
Winnebago Community Market opened permanent pantry space at our Northwest Center in Rockford. In FY19, the Market provided 1.2 million meals and serves an average of 250 households twice a week.
South Suburban Center in Joliet distributed 1.2 million meals through member agencies picking up at the center. We’re grateful for our generous volunteers – 2,600 unique volunteers donated 11,000 hours at the South Suburban Center this past year!
This past year, we launched My Pantry Express, a pilot program offering neighbors in select communities the opportunity to place an order online and pick up groceries in a drive-up distribution.
The Food Bank remains determined to ensure every neighbor across Northern Illinois has access to nutritious groceries when in need. In order to do this, we must strategically grow in key areas that need support, as well as innovate to provide groceries in more accessible ways.
In FY20, we plan to distribute 69 million meals in total and achieve growth in four target counties: DeKalb (+10%), Grundy (+4%), Stephenson (+4%), and Winnebago (+5%). My Pantry Express is planned to expand to 600 grocery orders per week in four communities, providing one million meals. We will be piloting Rx Mobiles, in collaboration with healthcare organizations, in order to improve health outcomes for our neighbors. Alongside our program growth, we are working towards better understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusivity within our teams and network of member agencies.
FY20 will also mark the beginning of development of Strategic Plan NEXT, which will engage all our stakeholders in determining the future vision of the Food Bank. This strategic plan will include a neighbor-centered response to hunger that is: plentiful, well known and understood, positive and empowering, and measurable.