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Sixth Annual Boone County Ride for Hunger June 2

May 30, 2012

Staff Report

The Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry will host their 6th Annual Boone County Ride for Hunger on June 2. This event will help further the mission at the food pantry and allow them to continue serving those underprivileged in the Boone County area.

Activities include a sock hop, which features live music, food, dance-offs, raffles, door prizes, 50/50 drawings, and a free T-shirt to the first 50 riders to register. Check-in time will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry, 200 S. Fifth St., Capron. Entry fee is $15 per person, pilot or co-pilot. Checks should be made payable to BBC Food Pantry. Mail your entry to: Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry, P.O. Box 35, Capron, IL 61012. For more information, call (815-569-1571 (pantry) or Linda Clark, (815) 979-5412 or miracleon5thstreet@yahoo.com.

The Boone County area’s economical position has been on high alert during recent years. In 2010, Boone County was placed on the State of Illinois’ Poverty Watch List by the Heartland Alliance’s Mid American Institute on Poverty in its 2009 Report on Illinois Poverty. As of November 2011, the unemployment rate was 11.5 percent as reported by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This number is not adjusted for individuals who have exhausted all unemployment benefits and are still searching for work. The State of Illinois reported that in January 2012, the unemployment rate for Boone County was 15.5 percent. The current population of Boone County is approximately 54,165; 14,192 individuals are living in poverty.

The Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry was established to serve those underprivileged in the Boone County area. They seek to serve all residents who fall below the poverty level income guidelines as established by the Department of Human Services. The proceeds of this 6th annual Ride for Hunger will be used to feed people who are living in poverty in Boone County.

There is a Kibble Korner for families with pets that allows them to get dog or cat food. The pantry tries to ensure that all clients have a fair chance of receiving a variety of products from the non-food room. The clothing room offers a wide variety of clothes for infants through senior citizen. The pantry is more than just a facility that distributes food each Tuesday. The agency owns a total of three buildings, collectively adding to 18,600 square feet.

The pantry began serving the residents of Boone County in February 2005, and helped 74 people in its first month. Since then, the number of people seeking assistance has grown exponentially to more than 2,000 people per month. The rapid expansion of food insecurity in our community has been spurred by the ongoing recession and an alarming rise in local unemployment.

This is the only organization of its kind in northern Illinois where people can receive their food, daily necessities, clothing, diapers, baby food, pet food and furniture all at one location at no cost to them. The Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry was named one of the finalists for the Governor’s Award in December 2009, coming in second out of all the 501(c)(3) agencies in the state of Illinois.

Anyone with a motorcycle or car can join the poker run and/or join the party after the ride.

From the May 30-June 5, 2012, issue

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