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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Northern Illinois Food Bank

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Emergency Assistance, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Food Programs, Human Services

Mission: Northern Illinois Food Bank is a non-profit organization that engages the community in a commitment to feed our hungry neighbors. Across 13 counties, food manufacturers, local groceries, corporations, foundations, and individuals come together to donate food and funds, and evaluate and repack food for distribution to our more than 900 network partners – the food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and youth and senior feeding programs that serve more than a half-million neighbors each year. The food bank has centers in Geneva (West Suburban Center), Lake County (North Suburban Center) and Rockford (Northwest Center) and Joliet (West Suburban Center). Northern Illinois Food Bank serves the following counties: Boone, DuPage, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will and Winnebago. Our vision is for no one to be hungry in northern Illinois. Our mission is to lead the northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships.

Results: Check out our annual report: https://solvehungertoday.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2018-19-Annual-Report.pdf

Target demographics: Hungry neighbors across northern Illinois

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over a half-million neighbors who needed assistance to put food on their table.

Geographic areas served: 13 northern Illinois counties: Boone, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will, and Winnebago

Programs: Food distribution; Child Nutrition; Holiday Meal Boxes; Senior Food Boxes; Food Recovery; Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) Outreach; Community Nutrition

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Joan F.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My favorite place to volunteer is the Northern Illinois Food Bank. As a Snap volunteer, I contact people who want to know if they are eligible for food stamps. Besides the obvious rewards of knowing I help my hungry neighbors, I love the variety and challenge that comes with not knowing who is at the other end of the phone call. It could be the woman who answered the phone from her hospital bed while awaiting brain surgery. She knew she would be off work for several weeks and would need a link card to survive and heal. Or it could be the father of three who was downsized and embarrassed to be asking for help but knew his family couldn’t make it for long on his wife’s minimum wage pay. Or it could be the senior and his wife living on social security, caring for his disabled sister next door, who had used up their savings and didn’t know where else to turn. Regardless of who answers my phone call, I gladly listen to their unique story and provide all the help I can.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One day while working at NIFB a distressed single mother phoned in desperately seeking milk and food for her children. Her spouse had not delivered her support and she had neither food nor money to feed her children with. She was frantic with the thought of her children going to bed hungry and she didn't know where to turn. The staff was able to imediately direct her to an agency who could compassionately assist her. Not only does NIFB aid in feeding hunger, but they also provide amazing support to the agencies, allowing compassionate support through people's most difficult hours. Bravo to them!

Previous Stories
4

Former staff

Rating: 5

Northern Illinois Food Bank is unfortunately the best kept secret around. Unfortunate that this organization's name is not a household term, as it really should be. No where else would you find such wonderful, caring, accountable people who give so much of themselves and more to feed people like you and I. There is no "average" for hungry people and it's times exactly like these economic times when NIFB shines the most. They have worked so diligently to feed the hungry during the not-so-challenging economic times, creating a strong foundation of volunteership and network of food pantries. Therefore when times get worse, like today, they are prepared and heroically jump in first to help everyone acquire food.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Northern Illinois Food Bank for 8 years. It is great being able to work with churches and other organizations as well as individuals and families who want to help those in need. It is a priviledge to help out at a food bank where the staff is setting the trends that other food banks follow. I always look forward to my next visit.

Lisa2345678910111213141516171819

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Northern Illinois Food Bank is one of my favorite local charities. With one in six people in Illinois being food insecure, their work in distributing food is so important! Many people aren't aware that NIFB also has a positive effect on the environment. We use a tremendous amount of fresh water and energy resources in producing food, yet, as a society, we throw away almost half of what we produce. Of the nearly 35 million pounds of food distributed by NIFB last year, 2/3 of it otherwise would have been thrown away. By saving food, NIFB also saves resources. In addition to their great work, NIFB is a fun place to volunteer with a group. I had my birthday party there 2 years ago. My friends volunteered, then came over for a barbecue. Keep up the good work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past 11 years I have been a volunteer at NIFB. You can find a cheerful bunch every day sorting and packing food to feed the tens of thousands of those in need in the NIFB area. This agency makes the best use of it's time, talent and treasure.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the honor of volunteering for NIFB for the past 6 years. I'm part of the M&M's (Monday morning group) . Most Monday mornings you'll find us sorting, processing and boxing up canned and dried goods. The items need to be checked for quality, cleaned and grouped into specific weighed boxes - which then go out to the agencies and pantries as needed. This was the 2010 Food Bank of the Year - an award they truly earned and deserved.

1 Kevin23456

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The impact made from the efforts of the Northern Illinois Food Bank is incredible. The number of lives that are effected through the redistribution of food is simply staggering. It is hard to imagine that so many people are in need in the counties serviced by the NIFB.

Not many people realize the environmental impact that is a secondary benefit of feeding people in need. There are a lot of resources that go into the production of food: Water for irrigation, electricity for processing, fuel for distribution. If this food were to go unused, the resources used in its production would also go to waste. Recent reports show that it requires over 7000 liters of water to produce one pound of beef. In FY2010 the NIFB distributed over 870,000 pounds of beef. That saved 6 Trillion liters of water.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered at NIFB when a group of high school students from our church were going to work there on a Saturday morning six or seven years ago. I was impressed then, and still am, with the commitment to help the communities they serve feed those who are hungry. It has always been a positive, well-spent morning when we go to work. I am always glad to volunteer a little time for this great organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am an avid couponer and I love to know that goods I can buy for pennies on the dollar are being shared with those in need. I've been donating to NIFB for 4 years now, and at the end of each month, I gather some of the excess I've been lucky enough to buy and I'm always greeted with a smiling face and a helping hand.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with NIFB during my year and a half of unemployment was one of the only bright spots. Their Volunteer Coordinators, Rachel and Tia, were amazing to work with, organized, and informative. The supervisors were always patient and appreciative. The other volunteers were a joy to be around. I felt a true commaraderie and sense of purpose. NIFB's existence is such an important one to the community and worthy of anyone's time or monetary commitment.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our group began volunteering a few months ago and we go every other week. Everyone at the NIFB is well receiving to any help and their level of focus and commitment to all of the various programs is admirable and inspiring. We are all humbled to be apart of the incredible impact NIFB is making in our local communities.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking to volunteer in the community when a friend mentioned Northern Illinois Food Bank. I was hooked from the 1st time. I now volunteer 2 times a month. I enjoy the time I spend volunteering. It is a wonderful thing that people can take time out of their busy lives/schedules to help others in need. It is during these hard time, that people need to pull togehter and help the less forturnate.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

I have previously served as the President of the Board and for the last ten years have coordinated our church's efforts to help NIFB from organizing bi-monthly volunteer opportunities to providing funding from the Deacon's Benevolence Fund at our church. Most recently I am working with NIFB to help get them exposure to the city council where I live as NIFB seeks grant financing for its capital campaign to buld a new facility. There is no organization like NIFB that I am aware of with a better staff or volunteer base to serve its cause.

11

Former staff

Rating: 5

An awesome place to work and volunteer! It is a great way to give back to the community in a productive way as an individual, family or work group. NIFB provides an arena to develop awareness in the community regarding hunger and its impact on our neighbors. NIFB promotes an educational stance so that the larger community is aware of hunger's impact and how each person can particpate in the fight against hunger.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is great satisfaction in knowing that my time can mean so much to others. Volunteering at NIFB has taught me the meaning of giving time so that others may not go hungry. A visit to a food pantry further brought this message home to me. The work NIFB does touches many lives and even though I'm in Illinois only six months per year, I'm proud to be a part of it.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love working with the NIFB professionally and on a personal level. Volunteer days, food drives and exceptional people to work with. They enrich, educate and inform me about our community.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

I see the NIFB trucks all over the suburbs of Chicago. They are a wonderful organization that I have worked with on multiple locations. They are based in the local community and exclusive serve the local community. We can only hope that more donations of food, supplies, and monetary amounts continue to help this organization do such great work

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Boy Scout Troop 80 in St. Charles, IL has been been honored to work at the NIFB as a community service project for the last few years. During the Christmas holidays the food bank receives many volunteers. However, during the months of Jan., Feb., and Mar.- historically they have been in dire need of volunteer help. This is when we stepped in. The NIFB has greatly impacted the 40+ boys and their families within our troop. How? 1.) the emotional high of knowing that in some small way they have helped someone in need, and 2.) the camaraderie of spending time with friends and fellow scouters while doing a "good turn". I cannot praise this institution enought for its good work and willingness to allow us to help others.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our company volunteered for a day at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. It was truely an uplifting experience! I was great to see the passion and dedication of the staff. They were remarkable! This was a worthwhile venture for us and opened our eyes to the need and the cause. Bob Racette

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a recipient as well as a volunteer. NIFB reaches out to the community in volumes. Yesterday I was a volunteer at my house of worship ( Trinity Lutheran in Roselle ) Because of NIFB we were able to provide fresh healthy food to over 450 families.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have now been involved with the NIFB for over eight years. More specifically, I work for a Food Company that donates product to the NIFB and through that relationship, my wife and I have also been lucky enough to work with the Great Team that makes things happen at the Foodbank. The entire organization is filled with dedicated professionals who care so very much about what they do in a challenging environment.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work for a company that partners with the Northern IL Foodbank regularly. They are a great place to volunteer at and truly make a big different in the lives of the people they servce. The teams that runs the foodbank are very warm and really beleive in what they are doing. It becomes contagious and I hope they continue to bless the lives of thousands in our area.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Northern Illinois Food Bank is a first class organization that is "Making a Difference" each and every day. They help the Hungry in the communities they service. The Team spirit at NIFB is united. Volunteers help repeatly because the NIFB team educates the volunteers as well making the experience of voluntering FUN. I have been actively involved with the food bank during Hunger Action Month at Jewel Osco and many other programs. After working with NIFB and the team, I now believe that "Ending Hunger is not a Dream. It is a Possiblity"

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with the NIFB for many years and have really enjoyed seeing the growth of the organization. The volme's and #'s of the people who are served and helped has grown dramatically and is amazing !! Dennis and his TEAM are FABULOUS and truely exhibit the Mission of the NIFB!!! You guys are GREAT!!!!!!!! Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful program Mike Yore Sodexo

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Todd Shewchuk. I work for Wal-Mart. I am the Community Involvement Coordinator for the Waukegan Store. I got involved with the Food Bank for some personal reasons along with helping the less fortunate. This is a wonderful orginization to volunteer with. I love helping those in need, because with a contuning bad economy and with so many people out of work. People are turning to more non-profit agencies in record numbers. I love going to the food bank on wednesday nights and seeing the volunteers helping food pantries out along with helping those in need more. This teaches people that whether employed or not all of us need to do our part to help each other in times like this.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since I started volunteering I learned so much about the work that the food banks do to help the people in need. Volunteers are the only way a food bank is able to process the millions of pounds of donated food to get it ready for the people in need. The work is highly rewarding and I have found that the food bank employees and the other volunteers are exceptionally hard working and very motivated individuals. I plan on continuing my volunteer work for as long as I can.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering in 1996. First once a month, then twice a month and now at least six time a month, acting as a team coordinator for food salvage. As a volunteer supervisor I act as a bridge between the volunteers and the staff. The staff is rather small for what is done and we supervisors bridge the gap between the staff and volunteers. Physical conditions are not always the greatest and they are aware of that ... it's gotten better over the years. Achieving consistency among the volunteer supervisors can be a problem at times.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered a few times at the food bank and had wonderful experiences each time. The staff is always friendly and take the time to make it clear to each volunteer how important his or her role is. We had a great time meeting other volunteers and sharing stories - it's amazing how great you feel after just a few hours of volunteering your time.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered as an employee of the Chicago Trbune. We would devote time as a team to help with NIFB's efforts to solve hunger issues in the area outside of Cook County. The staff and volunteer coordinators were terrific, dedicated and inspired all of us to do more. I joined the Board of Directors duirng my tenure at the Tribune. And after moving on volunteered in new ways, including "The Art of Giving". This organization is the little engine that can. With the capital campaign at hand, now is an important time to give your time, donations, contributions. It is so worth it.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering about 5 years ago. My youngest daughter wanted to do it and we had the opportunity to volunteer on behalf of the AT&T Pioneers (SBC at the time). What I thought would be a one time thing has turned into a regular event for me and my family. We now are not just volunteers. My wife, my daughter and I have become volunteer supervisors and I have been the AT&T coordinator for the past 2 + years. We always come away with a good feeling but when we look at all the food that still needs to be processed, we realize our work is far from complete. I remember having a discussion with one of the volunteers I was supervising. She was a stay at home wife and her husband was a manager for a Fortune 500 company with a high end home in Naperville. She told me how her husband lost his job and was unable to find a job. She had to go back to work to help with household expenses and her husband was forced to take a job with a considerably lower salary then his previous job. She had never thought about volunteering. As a matter of fact, it was the furthest thing from her mind…. until her family needed to turn to a food panty for assistance to make ends meet. That humbling experience changed her point of view. They are now back on their feet and she is committed to the fight to stop hunger. It also made me reflect on how lucky I am and it also made me realize that you never know what tomorrow may bring. The fight continues and I am proud to be a soldier in the war against hunger.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lisa Scott & staff were outstanding and very thorough with the orientation and assistance provided to PACF for the establishment of our partnership. NIFB is an agency who provides more than great food, they provide the resources and programming to assist with the development of other area agencies, who are giving for continued community development. We are looking forward to doing "GREAT" work in the Chicagoland community with NIFB!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

The first time I was involved with The Northern Illinois Food Bank was with our Racing series. Heartland Drag Racing Association did a charity event "Race Away Hunger" to help raise finacial donations for the food bank. The secong time I have been able to help is with Walmart. I work at Plano store 1003 and Walmart is also sending in donations to NIFB. NIFB does and awesome job.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love eating, so I really support NIFB's mission. I have been volunteering there for over 10 years, and have watched the operation grow, year over year, to meet the needs of hungry people in Illinois. They now have more volunteers, more food donors, more financial contributions, more food delivered to hungry people than ever before. And yet it is still both a fun place to volunteer and a trustworthy place to donate money.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people who run this organization CARE! They work with limited resources and accomplish a trmendous feat. They find ways to do the impossible.