Northern Illinois Food Bank
273 Dearborn Court
Geneva, IL  60134
(630) 443-6910
(630) 443-6916
Executive Director:
Mr. Pete Schaefer

Northern Illinois Food Bank began as a dream of Sister Rosemarie Burian who opened the Bethlehem Center in May 1983 to redistribute food that would otherwise go to waste to people living in poverty in suburban Chicago. In its first full year of operation 64000 pounds of food were distributed through 80 food pantries soup kitchens and shelters. Over the last 28 years the food bank’s name has changed its address has changed staff has changed and last year we distributed 35 million pounds of food but the one thing that has remained consistent is that hungry people in our communities need help. Northern Illinois Food Bank started as a dream to help people in need. This has been the driving force of the organization and will continue to guide the work of the Food Bank for years to come. Twenty-three Board Members oversee and the Executive Director manages the operations of the Food Bank with the support of 85 full-time employees 11 part-time employees and 14000 volunteers. In September 2011 we opened our West Suburban Center located in Geneva a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold building and the first newly constructed food bank to receive this designation. The LEED certification recognizes the implementation of a variety of energy-saving elements of the construction of the food bank building and energy savings of 25-30 percent will allow us to provide 300000 more meals each year for hungry neighbors. We also operate a North Suburban Center a Northwest Center and a South Suburban Office to provide efficient local service throughout our 7000 square mile area. Northern Illinois Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and was awarded its 2010 Food Bank Member of the Year Award. For nine consecutive years we have received a 4 out of 4-star rating from Charity Navigator reflecting the financial strength of our operations.

Mission Statement:
The mission of Northern Illinois Food Bank is to lead the northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships. We collaborate with 700 network partners in the following 13 counties - Boone DuPage DeKalb Grundy Kane Kankakee Kendall Lake McHenry Ogle Stephenson Will and Winnebago to serve more than 60000 different people in need of food assistance each week.

Current Program:
Our 30 year journey has led us to the strong network we have today including 24 board members from a wide variety of professions 85 full time employees 8 AmeriCorps VISTAS 14000 dedicated volunteers and 700 network partner soup kitchens food pantries shelters schools youth programs and senior sites. Our newly constructed West Suburban Center in Geneva has provided us with increased capacity to fulfill our primary mission of food acquisition and distribution to these network partners. As a result of our continued growth in resources we are now able to distribute an average of 4 million pounds of food each month to our hungry neighbors. Our current programs include • Food Recovery through Direct Connect the Food Bank and our network partners have aligned ourselves with 221 retail partners to receive frozen meat dairy fresh produce dry goods and other nutrient-based perishables. • Our two Mobile Pantry trucks make over 30 visits a month serving low-income areas faced with food deserts. There is no greater hardship than having to travel miles on limited income and transportation to get to the nearest grocery store. The trucks are capable of providing 9000 pounds of food for up to 200 families in two hours. • The BackPack Program through collaborative effort with schools—provides students at risk of hungerwith a backpack of healthy food items chosen by our credentialed Director of Nutrition. BackPacks together with after-school and summer meals provide 61000 meals per week in our Child Nutrition Program benefitting more than 12000 children annually. Last year the Food Bank was awarded a Child Hunger Corps member through Feeding America to expand our program at new and existing sites. • Seniors are another face of hunger that often goes unnoticed. We deliver perishable foods meeting senior dietary needs to over 600 seniors in eleven subsidized housing facilities monthly. We are partnering with food pantries to identify seniors living independently with limited income and transportation to receive the monthly box. • During the winter we provided 30500 boxes for the 2012 Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday containing all the fixings for a traditional holiday meal for a family of eight including a 12-14 pound turkey vegetables and dessert. • We have three part-time outreach workers who provide information and assistance with online applications for federal SNAP benefits at local food pantries. This is an important resource to help low-income families increase access to food generating $40000 a month in new benefits. In the past year we have introduced new technology to increase efficiency and encourage support. Our Convio software doubled online donations in the past year while CiviCore has made volunteering simple through quick online registration.

Grants Since 2007:
YearProgram AreaAmount
2014Basic Human Needs$7,350.00
2013Basic Human Needs$50,000.00
2013Basic Human Needs$35,000.00
2013Basic Human Needs$14,600.00
2013Basic Human Needs$4,880.00
2012Basic Human Needs$100,000.00
2011Basic Human Needs$25,000.00
2011Basic Human Needs$10,000.00
2011Basic Human Needs$5,000.00
2010Basic Human Needs$50,000.00
2010Basic Human Needs$42,000.00
2010Basic Human Needs$20,000.00
2009Basic Human Needs$100,000.00
2009Basic Human Needs$30,000.00
2008Basic Human Needs$60,000.00

* Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust