At USDA Food and Nutrition Service, partnerships are critical to our success in reducing hunger in America. From school lunch to food banks, FNS programs operate more effectively with strong partnerships.
I recently had the opportunity to work with a valued feeding partner in the Chicago area—the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Every September, the Depository—the second largest food bank in the country—engages communities and businesses in the Chicago area during Hunger Action Month.
This past September’s activities helped inform and energize the Chicago area public and ultimately helped feed hungry families. As part of its Hunger Action Month activities, the institution partners with FOX-Chicago and Jewel grocery stores on a month-long food drive.
I was lucky enough to participate in one of the events at a Jewel on the city’s northwest side. At the event, an energetic group of volunteers, FOX News reporter Patrick Elwood, Food Depository staff and Jewel leadership appeared live on the morning news program to publicize the food drive.
A thunderstorm and downpours forced the event indoors, but they couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of anyone attending the event.
The day’s events included chefs who make granola for children at the depository, a Jewel cashier who raised the most donations for the drive, and Kraft Foundation representative Lisa Mann who presented a check to Feeding America for $43,000.
The day’s events reminded me of the critical role USDA plays in funding and providing food for our country’s feeding organizations, but most importantly it reminded me that USDA does not and cannot reduce hunger—whether during Hunger Action Month or any month of the year—without the hard work of volunteers, generous Americans, groups such as Greater Chicago Food Depository and businesses like Jewel.
What inspiring partners—and what an incredible day I had! To view a recording of the broadcast of the day’s events, click here.