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posted: 12/20/2012 2:26 PM

Nicor Gas donates to local food pantries

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By Kyle Bauer
For Nicor Gas

In the spirit of the holiday season, Nicor Gas has made donations, including food and money, to nine Northern Illinois food pantries to help them meet the demand during this time of year.

To collect the food items, the company enlisted the help of its employees and conducted food drives at various reporting centers throughout its service territory.

The employee efforts resulted in the collection of about 1,000 pounds of nonperishable food. Employees also raised $31,500 to help support the organizations.

"One of the core values that define us as an organization is our generosity of spirit," said Beth Reese, president of Nicor Gas. "I am humbled by the response from our employees and their dedication to give back to the communities we serve.

"Food pantries provide a critical service and we are pleased to not only help stock their shelves but also to give them the financial support necessary to assist those in need."

The largest financial donation was provided to Northern Illinois Food Bank, which is a nonprofit organization that works with about 700 network partners to serve more than 60,000 hungry neighbors each week across 13 counties.

Nicor Gas presented Northern Illinois Food Bank with a $20,000 check to help support its mission of ensuring no one goes hungry in Northern Illinois. Nine additional pantries also received monetary donations along with the food items collected during the drive.

"We are extremely grateful to Nicor Gas for its commitment to feeding our hungry neighbors," said Pete Schaefer, president and chief executive officer of Northern Illinois Food Bank. "The need for food assistance in northern Illinois is great and growing. Nicor Gas' generous donation will allow us to provide 120,000 meals to our hungry neighbors."

Nicor Gas employees from offices in Naperville, Aurora, Bloomington, Carthage, Glen Ellyn, Glenwood, Joliet, Kankakee and Yorkville participated in the food drive.

Items will remain in the communities where they were collected and are being distributed to Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry in Naperville, Aurora Interfaith Pantry, Midwest Food Bank, Shepherd's Food Pantry, West Suburban Community Pantry in Woodridge, Respond Now, MorningStar Mission, Kankakee County Community Services and Kendall County Food Pantry.