Eastern Illinois Foodbank Kicks Off Food for Families Campaign at Memorial Stadium

Fans can donate non-perishable items to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank on Saturday.
Fans can donate non-perishable items to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank on Saturday.

Sept. 29, 2009

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank is holding its 23rd annual Food for Families drive from October 3-17. The Foodbank is teaming up with the Illinois Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Gameday Spirit for its 2009 Food for Families Kickoff event, this weekend at Memorial Stadium during the sold out Illinois-Penn State game.

Illini fans are asked to support the Foodbank at the game by donating nonperishable food at four Foodbank locations outside the stadium. The following foods, also known as the "Super Six," are needed most: canned meats, canned complete meals, canned beans and other vegetables, canned fruits, boxed meals, and peanut butter.

Fans can also contribute by making a financial contribution at any Gameday Spirit Illini gear location in and around the stadium. $1 can acquire $10 worth of food at the Foodbank.

Volunteers wearing red "Sack Hunger" tee-shirts will be accepting donations and handing out information about Food for Families beginning at 10 am on game day.
- The Foodbank has increased its goal for Food for Families to $100,000 and 200,000 pounds of food. 2008's goal was $70,000 and 190,000 pounds of food.
- The Foodbank raised this goal in response to skyrocketing demand for food support. 30% more people needed food from the Foodbank this year.
- For two weeks following kickoff, community members are invited to participate in Food for Families in a number of ways throughout the community. Check the Eastern Illinois Foodbank's website at for more information.

On Local Hunger:
- An estimated 1 in 8 people in Illinois lives in poverty, and 1 in 7 children in Illinois struggles with hunger.
- More than 40% of the clients served by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank are children.

On the Eastern Illinois Foodbank:
- In the past year, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank provided 5.4 million pounds of food and grocery product to a total of 220 food pantries and other agencies and programs.
- The Eastern Illinois Foodbank serves a 14-county area in Eastern Illinois covering just over 8,000 square miles.
- The agencies and programs that the Foodbank supplies feed an average of 44,000 people each month.
- Many of the people who rely on the agencies the Foodbank serves are making choices between paying for food and paying for housing, medication, or fuel. These people could be your friends, relatives, and/or neighbors.
- Nationally and locally, food donations are down. This means it has become much more expensive for the Foodbank to operate, because it has to purchase more food.
- The Foodbank is an affiliate member of Feeding America; with its national network of food banks numbering over 200, Feeding America is the largest domestic hunger relief organization.