Northern Illinois Food Bank's mobile markets bring nutritious food to local neighborhoods
Leroy was struggling to control his diabetes. His blood sugars were consistently over 200, making him at risk for dangerous long-term effects, such as heart disease and irreversible vision loss and nerve damage.
After an assessment with a community health care clinic, he was connected to Geneva-based Northern Illinois Food Bank's Rx Mobiles that offer a continuous supply of nutritious foods to patients at risk for chronic health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease. Leroy turned his health around with the help of nutritious foods at an Rx Mobiles.
The Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva is bringing nutritious foods to neighborhoods throughout Northern Illinois with Mobile Markets.
Five months after accessing the Rx Mobiles, Leroy's wife, Jackie, is relieved by the results.
"No more bad food!," she said. "Now, his blood sugar is normal and he is feeling much better. Both of us are doing great and eating good food."
His doctor agrees. "Leroy's diabetes was very uncontrolled when he first came to our clinic, but within five months, we were able to begin significantly cutting down on his insulin use. I believe his access to healthy food played a large role in this improvement," said Dr. Aubri Rush at Hinsdale Family Medical Clinic.
Dr. Rush noted that studies have shown that changes to nutrition can improve or even reverse diabetes independent of any medication.
"The fresh vegetables and lean meats provided by the food (Bank's) truck are cornerstones of a healthy diabetic diet. With limited ability to leave their house on a regular basis, I fear Leroy and his wife would likely have very limited access to these types of food if not for the food truck," Dr. Rush said.
The mobile markets and pop-up markets are first come, first served, while supplies last. Both distributions are currently using a drive-through model. Dates and times are subject to change without notice; check solvehungertoday.org/get-help/distributions/ before you go.
• Thursday, Jan. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Cristo Rey, 3106 Belvidere Road, Waukegan;
• Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. at College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake;
• Saturday, Feb. 5, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.
• Friday, Jan. 21, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Fort Sheridan Metra, 461 W. Old Elm Road, Highwood;
• Saturday, Jan. 22, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church, 6821 Main St., Union;
• Monday, Jan. 24, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at St. Ann's Episcopal Church, 510 W. South St., Woodstock;
• Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at John T. Magee Middle School, 500 N. Cedar Lake Road, Round Lake;
• Thursday, Jan. 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tierra y Libertad, 710 17th St., North Chicago;
• Friday, Jan. 28, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Fort Sheridan Metra, 461 W. Old Elm Road, Highwood;
• Friday, Jan. 28, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Fox Lake (By Extra Space Storage), 1258 Route 12, Fox Lake;
• Monday, Jan. 31, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Immigrant Solidarity, 311 S. Naperville Road, Wheaton.
• Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Most Blessed Trinity Catholic Church (Holy Family Site), 450 Keller Ave., Waukegan.
• Friday, Feb. 4, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Fort Sheridan Metra, 461 W Old Elm Rd, Highwood 60040
• Saturday, Feb. 5, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Zion Park District Building, 2400 Dowie Memorial Drive, Zion.
For more information about location-specific mobile pantry dates, senior or veteran mobile pantry dates, contact Erica Packer at (630) 443-6910, ext. 264.
Each week, the Mobile Markets are distributing free groceries to neighbors in Northern Illinois. Everyone who needs groceries is welcome -- no ID, proof of income, or referral is needed.
Check out the calendar below to see if there is a distribution coming to your community.
The Northern Illinois Food Bank simply could not do what they do without the help of volunteers, and this month is no different.
They are in urgent need of volunteers this month. Helping to get food loaded into cars will definitely keep you warm and moving!
To register for volunteering and to see a full list of volunteer opportunities, visit solvehungertoday.org/volunteer.
Thanks to volunteers, Northern Illinois Food Bank serves more than half a million hungry neighbors each year across 13 counties. Last year, volunteers donated 136,000 hours of their time to help distribute the equivalent of 80.3 million meals to families, seniors, and kids facing hunger in the community.