Meijer supports hunger relief in many ways beyond our signature Simply Give hunger relief effort. Recently, we helped Northern Illinois Food Bank with one of its largest annual fundraisers.
More than 1,100 runners participated in the 10th Annual Fight Hunger 5K/10K Race held recently at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Ill. That number exceeded the participation goal by more than 10 percent.
“We're really excited about how everything went. We raised just over $235,000. That equates to $1.8 million worth of groceries for our neighbors in need throughout Northern Illinois,” said Christine Fisher, Special Events and Promotions Manager for the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
Jess Murray, North Chicago Market Director at Meijer, volunteered at the event along with Store Directors and other team members. They handed out Meijer bottled water, hand sanitizers, and other giveaways from the Meijer tent. A few Meijer team members also ran the race.
“We have a great relationship with the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Our regional vice president is on the board of the food bank. It's really great to see how much they were able to give back and how many meals they were able to serve with that donation,” Jess said.
The Food Bank provides food and resources in 13 counties in Northern Illinois through a network of 800 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior centers, and has other direct distribution programs to assist hungry neighbors. The nonprofit distributed more than 120 million pounds of food last year, and officials expect that number to rise in 2022.
Our support of this vital organization goes beyond being a sponsor of the annual fundraiser. We supply food and recently donated two trucks to help the nonprofit upgrade its transportation fleet.
“Through our direct connect program there are some pantries that can pick up fresh produce and bread directly from Meijer to ensure that the food gets to our neighbors quickly,” Christine said. “We also pick up food from Meijer, which then gets distributed to all our pantries. We are very grateful for the long partnership we have with Meijer and look forward to working with them for many years to come.”