Northern Illinois Food Bank Relocates North Suburban Center (NSC) to Lake Forest and Hosts Grand Opening
Today, Northern Illinois Food Bank announced a grand opening event to celebrate the opening of its new North Suburban Center (NSC) in Lake Forest. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 from 10:00 - 11 a.m. at 13950 W. Business Center Drive, Lake Forest, IL 60045 and include a brief ceremony, celebration and tours. An open house with refreshments, music, tours and volunteer projects will follow from 3:00 -7:00 p.m. WXLC (102.3 FM) will be broadcasting live from 4-6pm. The public is invited to attend. The center was relocated from Park City to Lake Forest in June 2022. The new larger space will enable more neighbors to receive the food they need to thrive.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will feature emcee Maeven Sipes, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Northern Illinois Food Bank, and several speakers including: Julie Yurko, President and CEO, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Doug Eckrote, Board Chair, Northern Illinois Food Bank and Senior Advisor, Uline, Brad Schneider, US Representative, 10th District, George Pandaleon, Mayor of Lake Forest, Bernard Wysocki, Mayor of Green Oaks, and Scott Keenan, North Suburban Center Manager, Northern Illinois Food Bank.
The Food Bank opened the North Suburban Center as their first satellite distribution center in 2001 on Keller Drive in Park City, IL. In 2011 the center moved to a larger facility on the same street. This location served the community for many years but had no room for the expansion now needed. After many months of searching available properties, the Food Bank selected the new location in Lake Forest.
"We are extremely grateful for the generous donors who supported the NSC relocation and expansion project. The Food Bank's meal distribution has grown and so have our operational needs. The new center is 28,000 square feet, nearly triple the size of the old location," says Julie Yurko, President and CEO, Northern Illinois Food Bank. "The larger space will allow the Food Bank to welcome more volunteers, accept more food donations, be more visible to the community, and provide the ability to store and process increased amounts of food."
The expansion comes at a time when Northern Illinois Food Bank is still seeing an increased demand for food assistance. The Food Bank's meal distribution has grown from 9.1 million meals in Lake County in fiscal year 2019 to 12.8 million meals in 2022. Across their service area the Food Bank is averaging 30% more neighbors served each month than pre-pandemic. In Lake County alone, the Food Bank served an average of 78,000 neighbors monthly in the past year.
Factors contributing to higher numbers of food-insecure neighbors in Lake County include the ending of some government benefits that were increased due to COVID, inflation and rising prices for food, gas and other household necessities.
Thanks to 17,000 unique volunteers, the Northern Illinois Food Bank serves more than 375,000 neighbors each month across 13 counties. Last year, volunteers donated 130,000 hours of their time to help distribute 78 million meals to families, seniors, and kids facing hunger in the community. The new NSC enables the center to increase the number of volunteers per shift from 50 to100, and eventually the Food Bank hopes to accommodate up to 500 volunteers weekly. This will help double the amount of food processed on site to approximately 2.5 million pounds annually.
"There are 150 pantries and programs in Lake County and 60 pantries and programs in
McHenry County. These pantries and programs will be well-served by this new space," says Scott Keenan, North Suburban Center Manager, Northern Illinois Food Bank.
To join the North Suburban Center's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, visit: SolveHungerToday.org/GrandOpening
For more information or to make a donation, visit: SolveHungerToday.org
To sign-up for a volunteer shift, visit: SolveHungerToday.org/Volunteer
If someone you know needs help getting groceries, please share our website with them: SolveHungerToday.org/FindFood
About Northern Illinois Food Bank
Our vision at Northern Illinois Food Bank is for everyone in Northern Illinois to have the food they need to thrive. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and proud member of Feeding America, we serve our neighbors in 13 counties with dignity, equity and convenience, providing 250,000 meals a day. We bring together manufacturers, local and corporate grocers, area farmers, corporations, foundations, and individuals who donate food and funding, and each week nearly 1,000 volunteers help us evaluate, repack, and distribute food. We also proudly partner with more than 900 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior feeding programs to provide nutritious food and resources. Our distribution centers are located in Geneva, Lake Forest, Rockford and Joliet. Find out how you can get help, volunteer, donate or get involved at SolveHungerToday.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.