As the autumn leaves shake from their branches and the first frost chills the air, our stomachs start to growl in anticipation of a bountiful holiday meal shared with family. What is widely considered to be the “traditional Thanksgiving dinner” looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting: a perfectly brined and basted turkey accompanied by stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, bread rolls, and everyone’s favorite: pumpkin pie.
But for many families throughout the United States, this Thanksgiving feast is a far cry from reality – and stomachs are growling for an entirely different reason.
Across our 13-county service area of 13 counties in Northern Illinois, we serve more than half a million people that are food insecure – meaning that the ability to afford groceries for a plentiful Thanksgiving dinner is not a guarantee, particularly with competing costs like housing, transportation, utilities, and medical care.
To help make sure our hungry neighbors can gather around a festive meal and give thanks this year, Northern Illinois Food Bank and its network of more than 800 food pantries and feeding sites are providing Holiday Meal Boxes to families in need. Each box contains a whole turkey, fresh potatoes, and all of the Thanksgiving meal trimmings.
During our kick-off event on November 4th, nearly 200 volunteers helped pack 47,000 meals for our Holiday Meal Boxes and our neighbors in need. Thanks to all who make this program possible, including financial program sponsors Tate & Lyle and Tyson Foods and food donors Jewel-Osco, The Jel Sert Company, and Custom Culinary.
With the support of our sponsors and generous supporters like you, we can make sure the only empty plates this Thanksgiving come with full stomachs. Here’s how you can help us provide more meals to more families right now:
We could not provide food for our hungry neighbors during the holidays and throughout the year without the help of our volunteers. Learn more about the volunteer opportunities we have available at our three centers at SolveHungerToday.org/Volunteer
A gift of just $30 helps provide a family in need with the ingredients for a hearty and nutritious Thanksgiving dinner. Make an online gift today to ensure families in your community have the opportunity to share a holiday meal this year.
What you do matters – use your voice to start conversations about hunger and food insecurity in your community. Sharing this information with friends, family, and coworkers helps us solve hunger in Northern Illinois!
No matter how you choose to make a difference, know you are helping us give what matters this holiday season: a meal on every table.