Food: A Sure Way to Get a Kid to Smile

4/7/2016

By: Marilyn Titone Schaefer
AVP, Communications Director

IMG_0833After weeks of fundraising, INB employees got to enjoy watching kids smile. The kids were smiling because they received healthy meals and snacks – as well as some Easter candy – to take home over Spring Break.

“We’ve worked with the Central Illinois Foodbank for the past five years to put on this event each year,” says Kelley Himmelberg, vice president and director of human resources, “Our employees raise the money, then we shop for the food, coordinate with the Foodbank and set up in the Brandon Court area. As the kids get off the school bus, they walk around the bins filled with food and pick out what they’d like to take home.”

By the time the kids reached the end of the line, they had, among other things, macaroni and cheese, canned ravioli, breakfast bars, jars of peanut butter and jelly AND bread and apples, oranges and bananas . . . plus a half-gallon of milk . . . all which made for very heavy bags. INB staff came to the rescue, walking kids to their homes.

According to the Foodbank’s Food and Agency Resource Director Kristy Gilmore, we served 160 kids and distributed nearly 3,500 pounds of food.

But we didn’t do this alone. Thanks so much to these organizations that partnered up with us to make Kids’ Café Spring Break food distribution a success:

  • Our friends at Tom Lange, a local global produce network, supplied both fruit and manpower. The high school volunteers they brought with them did a fantastic job of moving kids through the line and making sure everyone got their fair share.
  • The Ronald McDonald House received a large number of fruit cups leftover from the Illinois State Fair, and the staff shared the bounty with us so we didn’t have to buy them this year.
  • Special thanks this year to LHF Specialty Advertising for donating reusable grocery bags which helped us get the food from the Brandon Court activity center to the children’s homes.
  • Finally, a special shout out to The Hope Institute for Children and Families. Hope provided the younger children beautifully wrapped Easter baskets or a toy. What a surprise for the kids when they got to the end of the line!
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