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

Northern Illinois Food Bank kicks off Hunger Action Month 2017
Pack-a-thons, new Pass the Plate program among ways to get involved in September

GENEVA, Ill., August 25, 2017 – Since 2008, September has been dubbed Hunger Action Month. The dedication was established by Feeding America to encourage the public to learn more about the issue of hunger and how to get involved to help solve hunger in their local communities. Northern Illinois Food Bank, along with more than 200 food banks across the country, is calling on the community to “Go Orange” in recognition that no one should have to be hungry.

“Hunger is a real issue here in Northern Illinois,” said Jennifer Nau, Communications Director, Northern Illinois Food Bank. “We serve more than half a million people in our service area, and we look forward to coming together as a community each September to raise awareness and support our neighbors in need because our vision is for no one to be hungry in Northern Illinois.”

Every week, 71,500 people across Northern Illinois visit the Food Bank’s network of 800 food pantries and soup kitchens for groceries or a hot meal. 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 programs.

Last year, more than 300 volunteers packed nearly 90,000 pounds of food for hungry neighbors at the Food Bank’s Pack-A-Thon events at its Northwest Center in Rockford and North Suburban Center in Park City. Additional packing events were also held at off-site locations to increase awareness across the Food Bank’s 7,000-square mile service area.

This year, the Food Bank is again team up with communities across Northern Illinois to host and participate in a number of events and initiatives throughout the month of September to celebrate Hunger Action Month:

• Go Orange & Get Social – Thursday, September 14 is National “Go Orange” Day. Wear orange to help bring awareness to and support for hunger relief, and remember to share on social! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, and include hashtags #GoOrange and #ILHungerAction in your posts.
• Volunteer or Attend an Event – With nearly daily events scheduled throughout the month, there are plenty of ways to get involved during Hunger Action Month, including two Pack-A-Thon events: North Suburban Center in Park City (Sept. 15, 8am-5:30pm), and Northwest Center in Rockford (Sept. 22, 7am-5pm), To sign up for a Pack-A-Thon volunteer shift, call (630) 443-6910. Or, check out our full list of Hunger Action Month events here.
• Donate or Host an Online Food & Fund Drive – Fight hunger with just the click of a button, or with the help of your family and friends! Visit the Food Bank’s Virtual Food & Fund Drive page and help us solve hunger in Northern Illinois – every $1 donated provides $8 worth of groceries.
• Pass the Plate – Restaurants across our 13 counties are partnering with the Food Bank to “pass the plate” to help solve hunger in Northern Illinois. They will be raising awareness and funds for our hungry neighbors in a variety of ways including special Pass the Plate menu options, discounts for donations to the Food Bank, raffle tickets, fun events, and more! See the list of participating restaurants and learn more here.

Volunteer. Donate. Get Involved. Everyone has a role to play in solving hunger. Take action today and check out our full calendar of Hunger Action Month events here.


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 www.SolveHungerToday.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Northern Illinois Food Bank is a member of Feeding America.

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