Community rallies behind Food Bank at groundbreaking
From press release
GENEVA, Ill.—After years of careful planning and preparation, Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) held its groundbreaking celebration ceremony in Geneva, Ill., July 12. The event drew more than 200 people to celebrate the much-anticipated occasion.
The new Food Distribution and Community Nutrition Center will allow NIFB to increase their food storage and distribution capacity by two to three times.
Attendees were fed a nutritionally balanced lunch, identical to those served to more than 5,000 low-income children daily through the Summer Food Service Program. Included in the crowd were local, state, and federal political figures, NIFB staff and volunteers, donors and partner agencies, who distribute food to the more than 502,000 people the Food Bank helps feed each year. Speakers, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D) and state Sen. John Millner (R) spoke to the crowd about the need for more food in the areas served by NIFB.
The new Food Distribution Center will enable NIFB to increase the amount of food being dispensed from 35 million pounds a year to more than 60 million pounds annually. This increased amount of food will help address the growing ranks of unemployed and underemployed people living within the 13 counties the Food Bank serves. Poverty, once considered an urban issue, is now exploding in the suburban areas, and many agencies are feeling the strain. Additionally, the Food Bank is pursuing Gold LEED certification to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient, and will be the first food bank in the country to accomplish this feat.
NIFB President & CEO H. Dennis Smith said: “We have spent the last decade increasing our reach and the lengths to which we will go to provide food to every person we can. However, due to the number people in need of food skyrocketing, we knew that staying in the current facility was not a viable option. The deep trauma brought about by the current economic crash has affected many who have never needed help before, and we will continue to work tirelessly to help them secure nutritious food for themselves and their families. This facility represents our commitment to the local communities that we will continue grow to meet the many challenges of hunger.”
Visit www.northernilfoodbank.org for more information.
From the July 21-27, 2010 issue
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