Contact: Elizabeth Gartman, Communications Manager, egartman@northernilfoodbank.org, 630-443-6910 ext. 142

Neal and Lois Oppenheimer estate donates more than $1.6 million to Northern Illinois Food Bank

Lombard couple bequeaths largest donation in organization’s history

(GENEVA, Ill., June 24, 2020) – Lombard natives and longtime Food Bank supporters Neal and Lois Oppenheimer have remembered the Northern Illinois Food Bank in a major way – with a donation of more than $1.6 million, the largest single donation in the nonprofit’s 37-year history.

“With this gift, the Oppenheimers have created an incredibly meaningful and lasting legacy to help solve hunger in Northern Illinois,” said Julie Yurko, President and CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank. “Their stewardship of their good fortune means that hundreds of thousands of meals can be shared with our neighbors in need.”

The Oppenheimers had been supporters of the Food Bank for more than a decade. Their donations supported Food Bank feeding programs for children, seniors and families in need across Northern Illinois. Neal Oppenheimer passed away in 2019, after his wife Lois died in 2018.

“Neal [and Lois] lived a modest lifestyle—it’s no surprise to me that [they] would give everything to those in need,” said Jennifer Gutzwiller, the Oppenheimers’ goddaughter.

Last week, the Food Bank’s Board of Directors approved the move of the estate gift in its entirety to the organization’s endowment fund, ensuring the Oppenheimers’ vision is realized for generations to come.

“We are very grateful for the partnership between the Oppenheimers, InFaith and their financial advisors,” said Mandy Tuong, CEO and President of InFaith Community Foundation. “The Oppenheimers’ generous spirit and very thoughtful plans around giving will help many people. It is an honor to work with their family and beneficiaries to see their dreams become reality.”

“While we are grateful for every donation, large gifts such as the Oppenheimers’ legacy gift will have a tremendous impact in helping us provide food and hope to our neighbors for years to come,” Yurko said.


About Northern Illinois Food Bank

Northern Illinois Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, is a non-profit organization that engages the community to solve hunger in Northern Illinois. Manufacturers, local groceries, corporations, foundations, and individuals come together to donate food and funds, and evaluate and repack food for distribution to more than 900 partner feeding programs – the food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and youth and senior feeding programs that serve more than half a million people every year. Northern Illinois Food Bank has centers in Geneva (West Suburban Center), Park City (North Suburban Center) Rockford (Northwest Center), and Joliet (South Suburban Center). Find out how you can volunteer, donate or get involved at www.SolveHungerToday.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About InFaith Community Foundation
InFaith Community Foundation is a national charity with a mission to serve donors, spread joy and change lives. Through InFaith, giving is customized to each donor’s charitable interests and financial circumstances. InFaith is a proven steward of these gifts, earning consistently high ratings from Charity Navigator and GuideStar for sound fiscal management, transparency and commitment to excellence. Together with donors, InFaith grants millions of dollars annually to charities serving local, national and global communities. To learn more, visit inFaithFound.org.

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