Let's see what social media can do to spark awareness for hunger relief here and across the country. Better still, wear something orange, take a selfie and post it with #ILHungerAction or #GoOrange and let's light up Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in support of Hunger Action Month.
Thursday, Sept. 14, is National "Go Orange Day," and The Northern Illinois Food Bank asks you to wear orange to support efforts to fill local food banks and spread the word.
After the weeks of devastating natural disasters that have hit our shores, I think the issue of hunger awareness will be on everyone's radar. But we're still fighting hunger close to home, too.
There are all kinds of special events planned to get more people involved in the issue of hunger and how to solve it. Pack-A-Thons and a new Pass the Plate program are among the ways to get involved this month and beyond. Check out the upcoming Pack-A-Thons: There's one from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at North Suburban Center in Park City and one from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at the Northwest Center in Rockford.
Last year, more than 300 volunteers packed nearly 90,000 pounds of food for hungry neighbors at the Food Bank's Pack-A-Thon events and at off-site locations to increase awareness across the Food Bank's 7,000-square-mile service area.
"Hunger is a real issue here in Northern Illinois," said Jennifer Nau, Communications Director for the Northern Illinois Food Bank, in a news release. "We serve more than half a million people in our service area, and we look forward to coming together as a community each September to raise awareness and support our neighbors in need because our vision is for no one to be hungry in Northern Illinois."
Every week about 71,500 people across Northern Illinois visit the Food Bank's network of 800 food pantries and soup kitchens for groceries or a hot meal.
You can also donate food or host an Online Food & Fund Drive. Visit the Food Bank's Virtual Food & Fund Drive page. Every $1 donated provides $8 worth of groceries.
This month, you can help out while you dine out at a Pass the Plate restaurant in the form of a donation. Restaurants will donate a percentage of the cost of some menu items, and they will offer discounts for donations to the Food Bank, plus give out raffle tickets, host fun events and more.
Everyone has a role to play in solving hunger. For a list of ways to get moving for Hunger Action Month or to find participating Pass the Plate restaurants, visit solvehungertoday.org/. To sign up for a Pack-A-Thon volunteer shift, call (630) 443-6910. Stay connected at Facebook.com/NorthernILFoodBank, Twitter.com/ILFoodBank and be sure to use #GoOrange and #ILHungerAction in your posts.
• Contact Food Editor Susan Stark at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 427-4586. Be her friend on Facebook.com/SusanStarkDailyHerald or follow her on Twitter.