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Northern Illinois Food Bank signs lease to open South Suburban Center in Joliet

Center will serve 175 feeding programs in Will, Grundy, Kankakee and Kendall Counties

GENEVA, Ill., October 5, 2017 – With the goal of addressing hunger in high-need counties, Northern Illinois Food Bank has signed a lease on an 18,000 square foot facility on South Larkin Avenue in Joliet, which will serve 175 local programs and provide increased access to perishable foods and improved efficiencies in food distribution.

The South Suburban Center will be housed in a former Cub Foods location owned by Harvest Bible Church. The property features dock access, existing refrigeration and freezer walls and convenient access to I-55 and I-80. The space will be configured to provide volunteer workspace and offices for Food Bank staff.

“Our South Suburban Center will help us better address the issue of hunger in some of our high-need counties – areas that were difficult to reach from our existing locations,” said Julie Yurko, CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank. “With this center, we’ll be able to better support our local agency partners with fresh produce, dairy items and other nutritious foods, as well as get these items to those in need more efficiently. We’ll be in a better position to solve hunger and serve our hungry neighbors every day.”

With the increased food distribution and volunteer capacity at the South Suburban Center, the Food Bank will be able to provide an additional 1,000,000+ meals to residents in Will, Grundy, Kankakee and Kendall. Currently, the Food Bank serves the equivalent of more than 14 million meals in these areas to nearly 80,000 food insecure residents, about half of which are children.

The Joliet facility will be the fourth distribution center operated by Northern Illinois Food Bank, which currently manages three distribution centers: Northwest Center (Rockford), North Suburban Center (Park City), and West Suburban Center (Geneva).

“Our food pantry is currently about an hour away from the nearest Food Bank facility, which can be a challenge to get fresh food in quickly. With the new Joliet facility, we’re just a few minutes away from healthy foods for our hungry neighbors,” said Dawn MacGregor, director of the St. John Lutheran Church Food Pantry in Joliet, a Food Bank member agency. “We’re also excited that people in our community will be able to take an active role in volunteering at the nearby center.”

The Food Bank has been raising funds for a fourth distribution center since 2015 and, to date, has raised $880,000 to build out the new facility.

The Food Bank serves more than half a million people in Northern Illinois annually through its network of more than 800 food pantries and feeding programs. Last year alone, Northern Illinois Food Bank distributed more than 65.5 million meals to people in need across its 13-county service area through programs such as its Mobile Pantry, Senior Meal Box, Milk2MyPlate, After School and BackPack, among others.

About Northern Illinois Food Bank
Northern Illinois Food Bank leads the Northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships. Since 1983, food manufacturers, local grocers, corporations, foundations, and individuals have come together to donate food and funds, and evaluate and repack food for distribution to 800 community food pantries and feeding programs serving more than 71,500 hungry neighbors each week across 13 counties. That commitment provided 65.5 million meals to those in need in FY17. Find out how you can Volunteer, Donate and Get Involved at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Northern Illinois Food Bank is a member of Feeding America.