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Addressing Food Insecurity in Our Community
Find Out How You Can Help on April 21

For immediate release: April 4, 2015
Contact: Anne Flanigan Bassi, Township Supervisor, (847) 432-3240, super@morainetownship.org

Addressing Food Insecurity in Our Community
Find Out How You Can Help on April 21!

Food insecurity is an unfortunate reality in our community. One out of every four elementary students in Highland Park and Highwood qualifies for the federal free/reduced lunch program at their school, and use of the Moraine Township Food Pantry has steadily increased.

On Tuesday, April 21 at 7:00 pm at the Highland Park Country Club, residents will be given an opportunity to volunteer to help keep current programs sustainable and launch new initiatives aimed at reducing food insecurity in our community.

Christopher G. Kennedy,
photo courtesy of Sun Times.

Christopher G. Kennedy, Founder of Top Box Foods and Past Chairman of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, is the keynote speaker and will draw upon his years of experience working with organizations in the metropolitan area on hunger issues. "Collaboration and community leadership is the key. Top Box Foods is successful because we listen to our partners' requests for nutrition and healthy, affordable food."

"Moraine Township has experienced a significant increase in the number of residents accessing our Food Pantry, and the schools report that some students come to school without breakfast," said Anne Flanigan Bassi, Moraine Township Supervisor. "We hope the event will help the community learn the issues and volunteer to be part of the solution."

Amy Terpstra of the Heartland Alliance reports that "poor residents comprise 5.7% of Highland Park's population, up from 3.8% in 2000, and 13.1% of Highwood residents, up from 7% in 2000." She also noted that "in Lake County, 81% of SNAP (aka Food Stamp) recipients have at least one working member of the household, and 18% of kids are food insecure."

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, who has championed the issue of food insecurity and partnered with the Township on city food drives, notes, "We are fortunate to live in a community where we take action to help our neighbors in need. This community Call to Action is an opportunity for us to come together to ensure that we don't have hungry neighbors."

As an example of current successful programs, Moraine Township Trustee Amy Zisook and Clerk Gail Feiger Brown have spearheaded an effort to distribute extra breakfast and lunch food bags during school vacations, and to work with the schools to facilitate connecting community groups with the schools on breakfast, snack and backpack programs at individual schools. "When students are hungry, learning can be a challenge," commented Trustee Zisook.

For further information call Moraine Township 847-432-3240 or email super@morainetownship.org.

Moraine Township's website is www.morainetownship.org.

 

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