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We received the following email from Kate Maehr, CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository describing the hunger crisis that exists in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. We share this to emphasize that hunger affects hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors in communities throughout our region and that the fight against hunger is a 365 day a year war.
Earlier this week, I received a report on the number of visits to Cook County's pantries in May 2012. The figures were startling - in May 2012, there were 485,962 individual visits to pantries, up 13 percent from last May. The number of individual visits would fill Soldier Field nearly eight times.
Tomorrow marks the end of our fiscal year. And when we close for operations tomorrow and begin to review our databases and spreadsheets, we will look back on an awesome and sobering achievement. We project 5.5 million visits for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
We will look back at the past 12 months in gratitude. We are humbled by the support we have received from the community. Chicagoans again have stood up and shown that they will not accept hunger in their neighborhoods. For that, we are incredibly thankful.
Here are just a few of the achievements you have helped make possible:
• Surpassing 2015 goal of making produce 30 percent of our overall food distribution. This year, produce made up 33 percent of all food distributed - 21 million pounds of fruit and vegetables.
• Helping 87 men and women build a career in foodservice through our Chicago's Community Kitchens training program.
• Helping individuals and families access food by assisting with and submitting 3,030 applications for SNAP / Food Stamps.
• And last Saturday, we broke our attendance record when more than 11,400 people participated in the 27th Annual Hunger Walk.
On behalf of the staff of the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the people we serve, thank you for your support. We look forward to future collaboration in the months ahead.
FUND RAISING NEWS:
A total of 22,198 toys were donated and over $2,000 raised. A total of 17,601 toys were given to individuals and a total of 4,597 toys were given to children from 13 different community organizations throughout the south suburbs. We had over 3000 children participate in our 18th annual Toy Giveaway at the Fieldhouse in Markham the Sunday before Christmas. Literally thousands of children would have gone without a present if not for the efforts of LBD Enterprises/South Suburban Toys for Kids and the many volunteers who support our efforts around Christmas. Thank you to all who donated their time, toys, and money and helped make our Christmas Program a success this year. We would also like to invite everyone back for next year!
Many thanks to Mi-Jack, City Beverage, Jeffrey Cantor, Jeff Charnogorsky, Doug Shabelman, Mike Balkin, A.D. Singh, Wal-Mart, U.S. Bank, Park National Bank, Sandbox Early Learning Centers, Ford Motor Company, and the IMC Chicago Charitable Foundation. We also want to thank Bonnie Rubin, who wrote a wonderful article in the Chicago Tribune about our Toy Drive, and Mike Worrell from Black Umbrella Design, our most talented website designer.
A total of approximately 1500 families were supplied with groceries and turkey or ham for the holiday. Many thanks to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the largest food bank in the Midwest, for it's support. We also want to recognize all those who volunteered their time and resources to help make Thanksgiving a time of celebration for so many children and their families who have fallen on hard times in the communities that we serve.
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LBD Enterprises, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with nonprofit charitable status with the IRS.