2019.4_saving kids health-blog

Saving kids’ health – mental and physical

12/Apr/19 / 19:36

Heather, age 32, is the mother of four children — three boys and one girl between the ages of one and ten. Her family lives in Bradley, but today she is visiting Merchant Street Food Pantry in Kankakee.   “I try to come every other week,” she says, brushing her blonde hair out of her […]

2019.3_nutrition interview blog

Interview with Chef Jen: Nutrition for our neighbors

22/Mar/19 / 20:15

We sat down with Jen Lamplough, our Director of Nutrition Programs and Executive Chef here at the Food Bank. Check out what she has to say about nutrition, food insecurity, and the Food Bank!   What does the Food Bank do to encourage or ensure proper nutrition for our neighbors?   That’s a long answer. […]

3.2019_backpack blog post

Fridays with the BackPack program

14/Mar/19 / 21:06

At Taylor Park Elementary School, Friday afternoons mean something special to fifteen local families – and not just the end of another week. Friday is when their children pick up a blue wheeled backpack full of nutritious food to bring home for the weekend.   Taylor Park is one of a handful of schools in […]

2.2019_local shares-blog

Finding support through medical challenges

22/Feb/19 / 06:00

Out of the more than half a million people served by Northern Illinois Food Bank each year, 62 percent face the difficult and sometimes nigh-on impossible choice of whether to pay for food or medical care with their limited income.   Take Ernie, for example. After a sudden death event in 2010 left him with […]

2.2019_acts of kindness-blog

A little bit of kindness goes a long way

15/Feb/19 / 16:23

Our daily lives can be filled with hustle and bustle – things like work, school, family life, traveling, and other commitments can make the hours fly by in a blur. But at the end of the day, what we tend to remember most are the little things: a free refill at our favorite coffee shop, […]

2.2019_bananas healthy treat-blog

Go bananas for these healthy treats

08/Feb/19 / 06:00

Let your special someone know you love them bunches by surprising them with a healthy treat! The recipes below featuring bananas are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt.   On their own, bananas are a great source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. Potassium promotes cardiovascular health, helping your heart to beat […]

1.2019_food pantry-myths and facts

Visiting a food pantry: myths & facts

28/Jan/19 / 21:53

The decision to visit a food pantry is often a difficult choice for our neighbors. Between the stigma surrounding pantries and common misconceptions about how the system works, many people do not seek the assistance they need. Here are some myths and facts surrounding pantries and who they help.   Myth #1: You have to […]

1.2019_anna mi'angel-blog

A single mom finds a helping hand

18/Jan/19 / 11:00

As a single mom of three children, Anna was struggling to keep enough food on the table to feed her family when we met her at Second Baptist Church in Joliet. While she receives SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps), the total amount had recently been reduced, and her paycheck from working as a […]

1.2019_volunteering w family

Five unexpected benefits of volunteering as a family

11/Jan/19 / 06:00

Now that the whirlwind of parties and travel plans has settled, it’s a great time for your family to get started on your New Year’s resolutions and give back to your community.   This year, make volunteering a family affair. You’re familiar with the “feel-good” emotions that come from helping others, but there are even […]

1.2019_low-income parents holidays

‘I Feel Like I’m Failing Them’: How Low-Income Parents Struggle Over The Holidays

04/Jan/19 / 06:00

Jasmine, 32, is looking forward to Christmas, a rare opportunity to spend an entire day with her twin 8-year-old boys. But she’s also anxious ― anxious that she’ll disappoint them because she can’t afford to buy them the few gifts they asked for this holiday season.   “Some days I feel like I’m failing them,” […]