Submitted by Shields Township
It took less than one hour to distribute more than 7,500 pounds of food to nearly 200 military and neighboring families on Saturday, May 7.
Great Lakes Naval Station, Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) and Phoenix Rising, the 501(C)3 foundation of Shields Township, together sponsored the mobile food at the Forrestal Village housing development. The event was scheduled from 10 until noon; however, all products were distributed before 11 a.m.
Residents were offered their choice of meats (including beef, chicken, lamb, veal, pork and seafood), as well as fresh produce, breads, cereal and household products.
“When I got there at 9:15, there was already a long line. I saw clients of the Shields Township food pantry and many new faces. This drive was an important collaboration among the naval base, Northern Illinois Food Bank and Phoenix Rising,” Gale Strenger Wayne, Supervisor of Shields Township noted.
“People were so appreciative of the array of food. NIFB offered food products we aren’t able to provide at our pantry due to refrigeration/freezer needs.”
In addition to advertising the drive to the military families of Shields Township, the navy also provided the many volunteers necessary to make the event a success. The military volunteers helped unload the semi, set up, and take down tables and boxes in addition to providing an escort to those unable to carry their bounty to their cars.
Phoenix Rising, the non-profit 501C3 of Shields Township, provided the $750 funding for the mobile food drive, which purchased more than 7,500 pounds of quality food. Phoenix Rising is funded through private donations as well as processing fees for passport services. No tax dollars were used to support the mobile food drive.