Another successful Hunger Action Month has come to a close. Every September, Feeding America and its network of food banks and supporters participate in a number of awareness activities in order to encourage people to take action and solve hunger.
This year, we kicked off the month with an on-air interview on ABC7, which lead to a number of events throughout our 13-county service area – including community-wide food drives, two Poverty Simulations, and three Pack-a-thons! To every agency, company, family, and individual who donned the color on ‘Go Orange Day’ to raise awareness, it is clear that the people of Northern Illinois want to ensure their hungry neighbors have access to the food they need, when and where they need it.
The Food Bank’s Pack-a-Thons have been a staple of Hunger Action Month for the past few years. This year we were excited to add an additional packing event at our new South Suburban Center in Joliet. Volunteers joined us at our North Suburban Center (Park City), Northwester Center (Rockford) and South Suburban Center (Joliet), where they packed a total of 57,905 pounds of fresh produce for our hungry neighbors. Thank you to all the individuals and groups who joined us – what you do matters!
A new event this year was the Food Bank’s advocacy roundtable, Who’s Your Neighbor. Volunteers and supporters of the Food Bank, were invited to join a discussion about myths and facts of food banking. Attendees had the opportunity to hear stories directly from members of our community Thank you to all those who attended and made this amazing evening possible.
Other Hunger Action Month highlights from across the Food Bank’s network include:
Eleven restaurants across our service area helped us ‘Pass the Plate’ during Hunger Action Month. They accepted cash donations and introduced Pass the Plate specials – from pizza to orange-sprinkled sugar cookies. Participants included:
Poverty simulations are designed to help participants understand the realities faced by our hungry neighbors. In the simulation, participants assume the roles of different families facing poverty and experience the difficult daily choices they make. Volunteers staff resource tables, playing roles including employer, teacher, and grocer, throughout the simulation to provide a realistic environment. This year, the Food Bank hosted Aurora University nursing students on September 25 and 27, where they participated in the simulation and spent their evening volunteering with us in the warehouse.
The Elgin Cooperative Ministry invited the residents of Elgin to attend their 2nd Annual Elgin Hunger Summit at the Gail Borden Public Library to learn about the many different types of barriers families face in trying to access food.
Thanks again to all who volunteer, donated, and made a difference for our neighbors in need this Hunger Action Month. What you do matters!