Food banks merge to meet needs

Currently, one in 12 people in northern Illinois are food-insecure; they do not take in enough food to maintain the normal activities of life (Northern Illinois Food Bank). Among the alarming statistics, 13.3 percent of children younger than 18 residing in Winnebago County are living in poverty, 16 percent of these children are younger than five (Hunger Connection).

In an ongoing effort to curb these horrible statistics, Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) and the Hunger Connection (HC) food bank have joined forces. On Jan. 14, the HC became a branch of the NIFB (they will continue to be called Hunger Connection). This partnership, which allows for shared resources, budgeting, employees, and volunteers, is a strong step in battling hunger in our community. NIFB board president Peter Alle, said, “By joining forces, we can identify additional resources and implement programs that will increase the amount of food for people in need.”

Mark Robinson, HC’s board president, said, “With increasing budget cuts, HC needed to find a partner that would allow for more efficiency, less staff overhead, and the ability to provide a wider variety of foods, as well as better distribution throughout the serviced counties.”

NIFB, as a member of America’s Second Harvest (The Nation’s Food Bank Network), allows for these occurrences.

Mayor Doug Scott said: “Access to wider food distribution is going to be helpful. It’s hard to make certain that food availability meets needs. With this partnership, food supplies will be more available and accessible to the community.”

Malnutrition and hunger have always played a disfiguring role in society. Hunger is a root cause for learning deficiencies, illness, violent tendencies, and antisocial behavior. With this merger of food banks, greater needs will be met, and this will hopefully begin to stifle hunger in Northern Illinois.

For info: The Hunger Connection,1-800-961-7287, 815-961-7283, 320 S. Avon St.,; and Northern Illinois Food Bank, 630-443-6910, 600 Industrial Dr., St. Charles, IL 60174,

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