Food Bank relocates Northwest Center to Loves Park
LOVES PARK, Ill. — Northern Illinois Food Bank’s (NIFB) Northwest Center is relocating to the former Gray’s Foods store in the Meadow Mart Shopping Center in Loves Park.
After months of searching for a building that would accommodate the food bank’s operation of receiving and distributing food to local food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior feeding programs, the Gray family offered the space free of charge for the remaining 12 months of its lease.
“The generosity of the Gray family is a great gift to Northern Illinois Food Bank and the families that rely on us,” said Pete Schaefer, NIFB president and CEO. “Every dollar saved on operations means more food for our hungry neighbors.”
NIFB is a nonprofit organization that distributes donated and purchased food to those in need through nearly 700 partner feeding programs across 13 counties in northern Illinois.
The Northwest Center, one of four NIFB locations, provides nutritious food to 89 partners across Winnebago, Stephenson, Ogle and Boone counties, 56 of which are in Winnebago County. Last year, NIFB provided 4.8 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 3.7 million meals, to these programs.
“We are very happy to have found a home in the Meadow Mart Shopping Center,” Schaefer said. “The location is easily accessible for our network partners, donors and volunteers.”
The new site allows NIFB to continue to serve the greater Rockford community, an area where need is among the highest in the state.
Current data indicates unemployment in the four-county area is above 10 percent, with Boone County being the highest at 14 percent. Recent studies indicate 28 percent of children in the four-county area do not consistently have access to enough food to provide basic nutrition.
The food bank invites the public to stop by the Northwest Center to learn how they can become part of the solution to hunger in northwest Illinois. An Open House will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 14.
“This wonderful location would not be possible without the generous support of ComEd and the cooperation of our new landlord, Baceline Investments, the owners of Meadow Mart Shopping Center,” Schaefer said.
NIFB’s Northwest Center will serve as a place where volunteers will assist in sorting and repacking donated food for distribution to the partner programs. No food will be distributed to the public at the center.
NIFB is a member of Feeding America, and has earned Charity Navigator’s 4-Star Charity rating for eight consecutive years. To learn more about volunteering, donating or otherwise getting involved, visit www.SolveHungerToday.org or follow NIFB on Facebook.
From the March 7-13, 2012, issue
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