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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Loaves & Fishes receives generous gift from Gustafson Family Foundation Fund of DuPage Foundation


Above / Loaves & Fishes food distribution center located at 580 Exchange Court in Aurora is named to honor early volunteer Linnea Eleanor Rutkowski. (Photo courtesy Loaves and Fishes Community Services)

Loaves & Fishes Community Services recently celebrated the naming of their Aurora building as the Linnea Eleanor Rutkowski Food Distribution Hub in response to a generous gift by the Gustafson Family Foundation Fund of DuPage Foundation. In appreciation of the lead gift for the project, the nonprofit has named the new Food Distribution Hub in honor of Linnea Rutkowski, Al Gustafson’s late sister who was an early volunteer at Loaves & Fishes.

“We are so very proud to support the good work of Loaves & Fishes especially during this time of urgent need, and grateful that our investment celebrates the life of Linnea,” said Al Gustafson of the Gustafson Family Foundation.

“This is truly a transformative gift,” added Mike Havala, President/CEO of Loaves & Fishes Community Services. “It is making a tremendous impact for families in need. We are very grateful to the Gustafson Family for their commitment to food security.” 

The Loaves & Fishes Food Distribution Hub substantially increases the amount of healthy food offered, expands the geographic service area to DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties, and provides several ways for families to receive their food. The Hub is located at 580 Exchange Court in Aurora and is where all food is processed and stored; curbside grocery pick-up is also held there.

The Naperville location on High Grove Lane continues to offer market shopping, programs for self-sufficiency, and its administrative offices are there.

Loaves & Fishes Community Services

Loaves & Fishes Community Services is a registered 501c(3) organization serving more than 8,000 people a week by providing healthy food and impactful programs for self-sufficiency. It is one of the largest food pantries in the state of Illinois. Clients receive a healthy variety of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and eggs.

The Loaves & Fishes CARES programs help clients become self-sufficient through opportunities such as emergency assistance for rent or utilities, assistance with public benefits, car donations, tax preparation, job readiness, budget, and credit classes, and Moving Up, a 16-session intensive to help clients overcome barriers preventing them from becoming self-sufficient. Loaves & Fishes serves DuPage, Will, Kane and Kendall counties. 

Loaves & Fishes Grocery Market and administrative offices are located in Naperville, and their Linnea Eleanor Rutkowski Food Distribution Hub is located in Aurora. 

For more information, visit loaves-fishes.org.

Story submitted by Joni Wiltz, Director of Marketing & Communications, Loaves and Fishes Community Services, with photo featuring Ashfaq Syed, Loaves & Fishes Board Member; Al Gustafson; Michael Rutkowski; Mike Havala, President & CEO Loaves & Fishes; Maeve Chadra; Bob Rutkowski; Dave McGowan, Retired President & CEO DuPage Foundation; Mary McGowan; Patti Gustafson; Adam Fuchs, Loaves & Fishes Board Member; Barb Szczepaniak, Vice President Programs DuPage Foundation; Mike Sitrick, President & CEO DuPage Foundation; Susan Haines, Loaves & Fishes Board Chair; and Nancy Wiersum, Executive Vice President Advancement Loaves & Fishes.

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