Why we love and support the Northern Illinois Food Bank

Posted on: January 31st, 2014 by Don Schreiner CEO

Watch the news segment from 13 WREX

UPDATE: In January, 2015, we were able to present a check for almost $33,000 to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. We’re hoping we can give more next year!

JANUARY, 2014 – Each year, Rockford Orthopedic raises funds for the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) Children’s Meal programs because, frankly, we believe it’s the right thing to do.  Since we began supporting the NIFB, we’ve raised over $250,000–a number I’m certainly proud of and one that I’m excited to see increase over the coming years.

Not only is it important to support organizations like the NIFB–because no individual should live without adequate food (food insecure)–but it’s important for our community as a whole.

Children who go to school hungry or go home from school knowing that they will not have a full meal or a meal at all do not perform as well academically as students with adequate access to food.

[quote]”Last year, our BackPack program grew by 56%, providing nearly 60,000 backpacks filled with a weekend’s supply of healthy, kid-friendly food.”
–Pete Schaefer, President and CEO, NIFB[/quote]

But it’s more than just academic achievement that is negatively affected.  Food insecurity also threatens the health and quality of life of those in need.  As an orthopedic clinic, we spend our time helping people to protect, maintain, or improve their quality of life, so supporting the NIFB’s Children’s Meal programs makes sense because it furthers our mission to keep people active and healthy.

In the counties covered by the NIFB, just over 18,000 children are food insecure, but programs like the BackPack, After School, and Summer Meal programs make a real difference for kids in Northern Illinois.

It’s my firmly held belief that helping to provide food–an essential need–for our community’s food-insecure children is an investment in the success and growth of our community, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s the right thing to do.

In our area:

  • 425,000 don’t have enough food to lead a healthy, active life; 200,000 – or about 1 in 5 – are children
  • 48 percent of our hungry neighbors do not qualify for any form of Federal assistance
  • View an interactive map of hunger in our community

Check out what the NIFB accomplished in 2013:

  • 14,000 volunteers gave 105,000 hours of their time
  • 42 million meals were distributed
  • Meal distribution increased by 27%
  • 22, 327 gallons of milk distributed by 11 food pantries

data from the NIFB annual report

So what can you do?

1. Educate yourself

No Kid Hungry has an excellent overview of hunger in America that is worth reading.

2.  Be inspired

The work being done accomplishes real, tangible good for people in our community.  Take a moment to read some of the amazing stories that the Northern Illinois Food Bank shared during its 30 Days. 30 Stories campaign.

3.  Find ideas

The food bank provides so many excellent suggestions for ways to get involved and help those around you.

4.  Get involved

At Rockford Orthopedic, we utilize our year-end holiday party to raise money for those in need; this year we raised about $29,000.  Maybe your company, local organization, group of friends, or just you can find a way to make a difference for someone in need.


A thank you card from one of the children

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