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Article updated: 4/19/2013 1:54 PM

National Volunteer Week: Carmel Catholic High School Graduate Volunteers at Food Bank Through AmeriCorps VISTA Program

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By Andrea Schnorr

April 21-27 is National Volunteer Week and Kristen Davis, 25, of Lake Villa and Carmel Catholic High School graduate, is volunteering with the Northern Illinois Food Bank as part of the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). This is a national service program designed to fight domestic poverty and was founded in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993.

Northern Illinois Food Bank is excited to participate in the program this year and has welcomed a total of eight VISTAS from the Chicagoland area, including Davis, to its staff for a one-year term of service. Each VISTA provides the equivalent of a full-time employee to Northern Illinois Food Bank's staff. The AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers currently serving with Northern Illinois Food Bank are building capacity and awareness of the organization's programs, services, network partners and hungry neighbors. VISTAs are based in each of Northern Illinois Food Bank's four centers and helps support a 13-county service area.

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Davis specifically works at the Northern Illinois Food Bank's North Suburban location in Park City, Ill., and has been a vital participant in the organization's success in so many ways. Perhaps one of her greatest accomplishments was visiting and assessing 20 food pantries throughout Lake and McHenry Counties and her plans to now start phase two of her volunteer assignment description, targeting 10 key pantries that are in need of increased capacity and providing recommendations on how to do so.

For more information about Northern Illinois Food Bank, visit: www.solvehungertoday.org.

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