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Article updated: 4/26/2013 4:52 PM

Help Northern Illinois Food Bank win grant

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By Northern Illinois Food Bank submission

Northern Illinois Food Bank hopes the public can help in clicking their way to a $45,000 grant from Walmart by voting for the organization in the "Fighting Hunger Together" initiative.

It is part of a national campaign where money is awarded to organizations that get the most votes for their innovative and effective programs that help alleviate child hunger.

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The public will decide what organization will receive the grants through a voting campaign that includes more than 300 hunger relief groups from across the country. The more votes Northern Illinois Food Bank receives, the better chance it has of winning the money.

April 30 is the final day to vote. To vote for Northern Illinois Food Bank, log onto www.SolveHungerToday.org/walmart.

Northern Illinois Food Bank is requesting the grant to support its BackPack Program, which provides hungry children with a food-filled backpack every Friday during the school year. The backpack provides enough food for breakfast, lunch and supper on Saturday and Sunday for the child and two family members.

"Northern Illinois Food Bank's BackPack Program fills a critical gap in food accessibility for children at risk of hunger. One in five children in our community faces hunger," said Pete Schaefer, president and CEO, Northern Illinois Food Bank. "This $45,000 grant would help us provide the equivalent of 54,000 meals to hungry children. We hope our community will show support for our BackPack Program by voting for Northern Illinois Food Bank."

The public will be able to vote on their favorite child hunger programs through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 30 at www.facebook.com/walmart. Descriptions of programs from across the country that are dedicated to reducing child hunger in their communities will be posted on the voting site along with a "vote" button. Visitors to the page can award one "vote" a day to their favorite program. At the conclusion of the voting, top vote getters will split $3 million in funding from Walmart.

Funding for child hunger programs is especially critical given the significant need that exists. According to the USDA, more than 16 million children in the United States struggle with hunger. In northern Illinois, there are an estimated 204,000 children who face hunger.

For more information, visit www.SolveHungerToday.org.

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