Food insecurity is something that most of us don’t think about everyday, but it quietly impacts hundreds in our community. According to Moraine Township, over 25% of our kindergarten through eighth grade students qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches, impacting every school in North Shore School District 112.  Additionally, many senior citizens count on the Moraine Township food pantry for basic food supplies.  During the month of October, over 400 people visited the pantry, seeking food for themselves and their families.

We are fortunate to live in a community where we take action to help our neighbors in need. Earlier this year, I convened a meeting with area clergy to discuss the City’s work in human services and to discuss issues specific to their congregations.  In particular, the group identified hunger as an immediate opportunity for action and a spring food drive was held in cooperation with the City and Moraine Township.

In September, the City of Highland Park staff, Council and I adopted the pantry, providing over 40 bags of food and assisting with cleaning and stocking the shelves.

In addition, a Highland Park resident has arranged to supply the Township with weekend food supplies for 50 Highland Park students each week and is looking for volunteers (http://www.volunteerspot.com/login/entry/3310424784040). Another group of parents is similarly committed to providing weekend food supplies to 100 students from various schools and the Boy Scouts hold an annual food drive in March. This past week, students throughout town held successful food drives and the pantry’s shelves are full for the holiday weekend. These are wonderful efforts from committed individuals and groups, who recognize that the Food Pantry needs coverage every single week.In an effort to mitigate the inconsistent food supply at the pantry throughout the year, the Township has asked for assistance from all of us. As the saying goes: Many hands together make light work.

If everyone joins the effort, we can ensure a sufficient level of food pantry supplies throughout the year. As we celebrate all that we have to be thankful for during this holiday weekend, please consider whether you can help out for one week during the year.  Are you involved with a civic, religious, or other group?  Are you or your family looking for a volunteer project? Are you a service-minded individual?  If so, please think about adopting the Moraine Township Food Pantry for a week or more. Contact Moraine Township Supervisor Anne Flanigan Bassi at 847-432-3240 or super@morainetownship.org to sign-up to help.

We are so fortunate to live in a community where people take care of each other. Together, we can eliminate food insecurity for our neighbors.  No one should go hungry here.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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