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 Chapel. 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 to process food donations and offices for Food Bank staff. The new South Suburban Center will:
“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.”
“I’ve never been in this position before,” Diane (pictured left) says of her financial situation. She used to donate to hunger-relief organizations, and it’s tough to be on the other side of generosity now. “We would be going hungry without this,” she says.
“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.”
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.