Aldi employees in Batavia pack disaster relief food boxes

BATAVIA, Ill. (WLS) -- Every day across the country, one in eight people don't know where their next meal will come from - and the need is that much greater after a natural disaster.

Eight hundred Aldi employees spent the day helping local food banks.

"We're packing over 4,000 boxes of shelf-stable foods ready to go to people in need when and if a disaster strikes," said Laura Branneman, a division vice president at Aldi.

For the third year, Aldi hosted the volunteer disaster relief packing event on Tuesday. They partnered with Feeding America and Northern Illinois Food Bank.

"I see a lot of love and hope at events like this where folks are willing to step forward - whether it's Aldi giving the food or all their employees packing the food - but it's people who are willing to make a difference at helping a neighbor out in need," said Julie Yurko, CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Each box contains nonperishable food items meant to feed a family and a hand-written message of encouragement.

"Hunger is a real problem and we know that, we're in the food industry. We also donated $100,000 this morning to Feeding America," Branneman said.

Some of the boxes will go directly to Dayton, Ohio, and Kansas City, which were affected by recent tornadoes. Others will stay here in the Chicago area.

"We will store them and when a tornado or flooding happens in our service area we will be able to deploy these boxes out to families in need," Yurko said.

Every box will bring relief and hope as they help to build a better Chicago.

Building a Better Chicago is an ongoing series of ABC7 Eyewitness News reports spotlighting the people and groups working toward solutions and improvements across our area. If you know of someone who is Building A Better Chicago, contact ABC7 here.
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