It was a perfect day, surprisingly, for Friday the 13th, which created the perfect setting for Loaves & Fishes’ Day Without Hunger celebration. Day Without Hunger, which began 7 years ago as a 24-hour event, is an opportunity for community members to learn about food insecurity and Loaves & Fishes’ innovative service model that seeks to solve this issue. Each year, the event has seen greater success as demonstrated by the number of guests as well as business partners and sponsors. We were honored to collaborate with so many businesses and individuals to make this year’s event possible.
This year’s event was particularly memorable because it kicked off Loaves & Fishes 30th year anniversary and brought out some big announcements about our future:
Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry is now Loaves & Fishes Community Services, and to launch this new era, we have announced our $6 million Power of Community Campaign! It is our first public fundraising campaign ever, and we are excited to see our community of supporters grow as we seek expansion opportunities.
Photo Credit: Robyn Sheldon, Naperville Magazine
Two weeks after these big announcements, Loaves & Fishes celebrated Night to End Hunger at Heritage Prairie Farm in Elburn. Thanks to the incredible support of our guests, we raised $267,650 that night, which raises our Power of Community campaign total to $3,558,283, representing 59% of our $6 million goal!
Whether soaking up break taking views, feasting on fine organic dining or enjoying live music, guest engagement was the catalyst for the success of Night to End Hunger, chaired by Celeste Wagner, Loaves & Fishes board member. Individuals and local businesses donated items including lavish getaway packages, appetizing dinner pairings and even activities for thrill-seekers, such as a fighter jet ride and fleet car experience that were featured in a live auction and choice raffle. After these items were purchased and won, auctioneer Bart Darfler rallied donations through a “Raise the Paddle” special appeal, which alone raised $63,250.
We can’t wait to see what the rest of our 30th year anniversary brings!