Updated October 5, 2020

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. Learn about recent updates to our COVID-19 response, challenges, and wins below.

 

How to Get Help

Find a Pantry or Distribution
If you or someone you know needs food, you can find your nearest food pantry 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.

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.

Pop-Up Markets
We are constantly adding Pop-Up Market locations throughout our service area. To see if there is one coming to a town near you, visit our Pop-Up Market Calendar and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates about upcoming distributions. A list of upcoming mobile pantry distributions can be found here.

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.
 


 

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 suspending our community food donations we began accepting food donations in October 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 has made modifications to our shifts at all of our Centers to ensure we are following the CDC recommendations and practice social distancing.

  • We are requiring all volunteers bring and wear a mask when volunteering at a Center or distribution site, whether it is indoors or outdoors.
  • All volunteers and visitors to a Food Bank Center or distribution site are required to take their temperature prior to arrival. If temperature screens at 100.4 or higher they are required to stay home.
  • 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 July 2nd. Anyone traveling to the states identified by the order as a hot spot will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.

We have modified the maximum number of volunteers we can accommodate per shift to ensure we can practice social distancing. You may view openings on our calendar or join our wait list, as we anticipate having a greater need for volunteers in the coming weeks and months as we continue our response to this crisis. In the meantime, our agency network needs volunteer support as well. We encourage you to 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. In June through September, we have provided 9M meals monthly, an increase of 3M per month from last year 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.
  • Granted over $1M 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, Winnebago Community Market, Senior Box.

 
Coronavirus Monthly Impact