- Dec 20, 2019
The Chamber is stepping up to support Hunger Free Northbrook’s newest initiative, providing supplemental meals to children in need here in the Village. The weekend meal-pack program, launched at one Northbrook elementary school last fall, is now expanding to multiple schools, and the Chamber has committed to providing 15 packs each month at one location from January through May, 2020.
Hunger Free Northbrook was created to raise awareness of food insecurity that affects many families in the Village, and to rally local involvement to address the problem. Almost 400 children in Northbrook schools qualify under federal standards for free or reduced-cost school lunches. Those subsidies only cover lunches on school days, leaving gaps on weekends and holiday breaks.
Modeled after an established program in Moraine Township, Hunger Free Northbrook makes supplemental weekend lunch food available to children whose parents opt in. Organizations like the Chamber recruit volunteers who purchase a set list of non-perishable items, packed in a doubled paper grocery bag. Bags will be dropped off at the Chamber, which will then transport all the bags to its partner school for distribution.
“The student food pack program is a terrific way for community organizations to partner with Hunger Free Northbrook and our local schools to eliminate food insecurity for children,” says Larry Hewitt, Superintendent of Schools for District 28. “It’s a small commitment of time and money that results in a large impact on a child’s life. This outreach effort works because its foundation is a caring attitude and a heartfelt response to a genuine need.”
The school matched with the Chamber has 15 children signed up for the program. We are looking for members willing to supply one or more bags, either once or on an ongoing basis. Volunteers will be provided with the specific list of items and the dates for drop-off at the Chamber office. Please note that in order to be fair and consistent for all participating children, bags may only contain the specified items and no notes or messages should be included. Glass containers are also not allowed due to the risk of breakage.
Holly Allgauer-Cir and the staff at Hilton Chicago/Northbrook have volunteered to fulfill the bag requests for January. However, members are needed for future months. If you have questions, contact Tensley Garris, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support of this initiative on behalf of children in our community.