CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC 7's Share the Joy Food Drive campaign reminds Chicagoans in the city and suburbs that they have a terrific opportunity to help adults and children experiencing hunger in their communities. This year's message is "Help Fight Hunger in YOUR community."
You can find more ways to get involved by clicking on the banners below and making a donation to the food banks, serving as a volunteer and/or participating in an event in the community.
ABC 7's SHARE THE JOY campaign kicked off on the November 29th edition of ABC 7 Eyewitness News at 11 am, with anchors Judy Hsu and Terrell Brown encouraging all Chicagoans to help adults, children, the elderly and veterans in their communities who are facing hunger.
The ABC 7 SHARE THE JOY campaign, supports the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Northern Illinois Food Bank; viewers can visit abc7chicago.com to make a monetary donation.
During the newscast, Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO, Greater Chicago Food Depository and Jennifer Nau, Director of Communications, Northern Illinois Food Bank talked about the great need for food in Chicago and suburban areas. Terrell and Judy presented each food bank representative with a $15,000 check from Disney, the parent company of ABC 7, and Feeding America. Feeding America is a partner and recipient to Disney's SHARE THE JOY campaign.
More than 1.5 million people depend on these food banks to keep hunger at bay. Many are employed but trying to make ends meet, faced with the untenable choice of whether to pay the bills or feed their families. A great number of children in the area go to school hungry. In addition to helping fight hunger, ABC 7's SHARE THE JOY campaign also encourages viewers to make a difference in their community whether it's volunteering at a shelter or giving time to a neighbor who needs a helping hand.
President and General Manager of ABC 7, John Idler said, "The SHARE THE JOY campaign reminds us all that there is joy in giving during the holiday season, whether it's fighting hunger with donations to area food banks or volunteering to help our neighbors in need. We're proud to team up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Northern Illinois Food Bank to combat hunger. We also hope viewers will hear the call to be difference makers in their community."
Throughout the month of December, ABC 7 will air SHARE THE JOY public service announcements encouraging viewers to get involved. For information on how to make monetary donations to area food banks, please visit abc7chicago.com.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Cook County's food bank. Every year, the Food Depository provides food for more than 812,000 people in need through a network of 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, programs and innovative responses for children, older adults and veterans. The Food Depository strives to end hunger through grassroots advocacy, training for workforce development and partnerships for a healthier community. This daily impact is possible with the support of generous donors and committed volunteers.
According to Maehr, "One in six people in Cook County needs help in putting food on the table. Increasingly, the face of hunger in our community is a child, an older adult, a veteran and often a person with a job or multiple jobs. We appreciate ABC 7's effort to raise awareness and encourage action to help our neighbors in need."
Northern Illinois Food Bank leads the Northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships.
"While one in seven people in the suburbs faces hunger, as a community we can ensure that no one goes hungry in northern Illinois," said Julie Yurko, president and CEO, Northern Illinois Food Bank. "With the generous support of ABC 7 Chicago's SHARE THE JOY campaign, we hope more viewers will better understand that hunger is a real concern for thousands of men, women and children in Chicago, the suburbs and surrounding rural areas. The support we receive from the SHARE THE JOY campaign matters to our hungry neighbors - it makes a difference in their lives."
Northern Illinois Food Bank works with 800 community food pantries and feeding programs across 13 counties to provide nutritious food to 71,500 hungry neighbors every week. Additionally, afterschool and BackPack Programs help ensure children at risk of hunger have the nutrition they need to live active, thriving lives.
Every $1 donated to Northern Illinois Food Bank provides $8 of food to a hungry neighbor. Thanks to generous partners, that donation will be doubled so that for every $1 donated, the Food Bank will be able to provide $16 worth of groceries through December 31, 2016. Northern Illinois Food Bank has centers in Geneva, Park City, and Rockford, and an office in Joliet.
VIDEO: ABC7 kicks off Share the Joy virtual food drive on Giving Tuesday