Food Bank’s Holiday Meal Boxes provide hope and traditional holiday meal to thousands of families
From press release
Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) has announced that, for the 11th consecutive year, the Holiday Meal Box campaign is about to begin. More than 500 volunteers will help as many as 27,000 families enjoy a nutritious and traditional meal this holiday season.
Roughly 50 volunteers will be at the 320 S. Avon St. branch in Rockford from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 13, packing boxes for families in the Rockford area. Each box contains a turkey, dressing, vegetables and all the trimmings to feed a family; but it represents more than a meal. It’s an expression of generosity and compassion to the people receiving them.
Stacie Montez is the mother of three, and when her significant other lost his job last year, things got difficult for the family. Montez was able to get a Holiday Meal Box, and she shared her gratitude for the food and the people who made it possible.
“You want to hug them, you want to thank them, and you want to just tell them, ‘You know without you, my kids probably wouldn’t have Thanksgiving dinner,” Montez said.
NIFB President & CEO H. Dennis Smith said: “31 percent of unemployed people in Illinois live in our 13 counties, and we know there are a lot of people hurting right now. Every family deserves to sit down to a nice holiday meal no matter what situation they are facing. Each box feeds a family of eight; and we are going to be able to provide a great dinner to over 200,000 people this year. That’s a great feeling, and it’s something nobody is taking for granted.”
The Holiday Meal Box Program is generously sponsored in part by the Sara Lee Foundation. Support from these Holiday Meal Box Partners also made the program possible: Jewel-Osco, Del Monte, Kraft Foods, Ocean Spray and The J.M. Smucker Company. It is still possible to sponsor a family this holiday season. Donate today.
Northern Illinois Food Bank
Feeding America’s Food Bank of the Year, Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) is a non-profit organization that provides food to all those in need through its 665 partner agencies in 13 counties. NIFB acquires, gathers, handles and distributes donated, government, and purchased food to more than 61,000 different people each week through local food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth activity centers and other food assistance sites. In Fiscal Year 2010, NIFB distributed more than 35 million pounds of food. The Food Bank has launched a capital campaign to build a new Food Distribution and Community Nutrition Center to enable them to handle more food more efficiently to meet increasing demand.
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