The western suburbs of Chicago are increasingly becoming home to low-income families in search of safer neighborhoods, better schools, and affordable housing; yet, they are finding that a lack of employment opportunities and public transit are blocking their path to self-sufficiency. With the help of Loaves & Fishes, these families are connected to the resources they need to overcome their barriers, such as grocery assistance, job search support, skill-based classes and public benefit assistance. Recently, our donors helped us reach our $6 million Power of Community Campaign goal; however, due to the expanded needs and increasing number of low-income families, Loaves & Fishes has identified the necessity for an additional $500,000 to be raised by December 31, 2015.
“We are so thankful for our donors who, by supporting Loaves & Fishes, have made an investment in ending hunger in our community and empowering people to be self-sufficient,” says Mike Havala, Board Chair. “The Power of Community Campaign has helped the organization identify a number of opportunities to further benefit the lives of low-income families. In our last fiscal year, Loaves & Fishes served more than 20,000 people, mostly families with children, in our community. This can only be made possible by our generous supporters.”
Loaves & Fishes’ Power of Community Campaign began in January 2013 as an all-in campaign with a goal to raise $6 million to advance plans for expansion and programmatic additions. The Campaign Steering Committee Chairs, George and Julie Mann, of Global Risk Services Ltd., worked with a team of dedicated committee members, including Dave Kelsch of Advanced Data Technologies; Alicia McCareins of Research, Evaluation & Consulting Associates, LLC; Chris Michalski of BMO Harris Bank; Tom Miers of Naperville Bank & Trust; and Corey Schmidt of Thrivent Financial. As community support increased in response to the campaign, we were able to introduce sustainable solutions to hunger through our Client Engagement Model, launch several nutrition initiatives to provide kids with well-balanced meals, and reconfigure our facility to create a more dignified experience for clients.
“Loaves & Fishes is a lifeline,” says Megan Selck, President and CEO. “When our neighbors are laid off, experience health setbacks, or are confronted by any other barrier that results in food insecurity, we are here to help them get back on their feet. Our commitment to ending hunger in our community, and with the help of our generous donors, can ensure that our clients’ needs are met so they are better able to transition toward self-sufficiency.” Selck added, “The additional $500,000 we hope to raise before the end of the calendar year will enable us to launch and enhance several essential programs, such as an expanded Infant Care Initiative, the Hunger Vital Sign™ screening program in coordination with area healthcare providers, as well as provide a strong start to the second year of the Loaves & Fishes’ successful Client Engagement Model.”
You can help us achieve our goal by supporting the programs that mean the most to you! On Giving Tuesday, December 1st, Loaves & Fishes will look to raise $200,000 to ensure that children of all ages receive the proper nutrition they need to grow, learn and play. Learn more about Giving Tuesday by clicking here. Loaves & Fishes is also accepting donations toward our HOPE (Help Other People Eat) Holiday Drive, which provides holiday meals for low-income families to ensure they can enjoy a family meal around the table for Thanksgiving and the winter holiday. You can provide a complete holiday meal for a family of 8 for just $30! We appreciate your help and look forward to sharing the joy of the season with you and yours.