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Naperville
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Loaves & Fishes: Together, we can fill the food gap

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In the last year, Loaves & Fishes has seen a marked and rapid increase in the number of people needing help. This is primarily due to the lingering economic effects of the pandemic, high inflation, especially for food, and a reduction in SNAP benefits for our clients.

We distributed more than 6.5 million pounds of food last year and are now serving more than 8,000 people a week. At the very time when we need more food to meet this significantly increased demand, our food suppliers are also faced with higher food costs which result in far less food being donated to us. This has created a large gap between what is needed to serve our clients and the food that is available to us without cost. Given the gap, it means we’ve had to purchase about three times the amount of food than we have had to in the past and it is costing more with inflation.

To overcome this gap, we’re doing a number of things and would so appreciate having your help. We’ve developed a Food Sourcing Task Force to explore additional sources of no-cost or low-cost food. They may include manufacturers, distributors, logistics companies, employees of food retailers or wholesalers, or even overweight freight donations. Maybe you are one of these people or know someone who is; we’d like to connect if that’s the case.

But you can help in other ways, too. Perhaps you, your neighborhood, church, or business could hold a food drive. There is a list of most-needed items on our website. If you have a garden, we’d love to receive some of your homegrown produce – we are always grateful for those delicious donations. Our virtual food drive is an easy way to contribute food without shopping. And of course, financial donations are always welcome. We can purchase $8 of food for every $1 donated.

The generous people in our community have been such wonderful partners over our 39-year history. We so appreciate your kind consideration. I have no doubt that together, we can fill the gap – for good.

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Nancy Wiersum
Nancy Wiersumhttp://www.loaves-fishes.org/
Nancy Wiersum is Vice President of Advancement at Loaves & Fishes Community Services and can be contacted at nwiersum@loaves-fishes.org. Visit www.loaves-fishes.org for more information.
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