Do you know where your next meal is coming from? Do you believe that hunger only affects people in foreign countries or poor areas? Would you believe hunger affects people close to us?

If you answered yes to the first question you are lucky, but many people locally have to depend upon the kindness of others for their next meals.

Saturday, Oct. 19 is Feed Our Community Day, an initiative put together by the Riverside/North Riverside Covenant of Churches. This is the second year for the program, which will be held at the North Riverside Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave., from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Last year enough money was raised to pack 45,000 meals.

Volunteers will meet and begin the process of packing meals in assembly line fashion. Each “meal package” is complete, with enough food to feed six people. The ingredients are dried and fully nutritious (kind of like macaroni and cheese) with directions for preparing the contents. After the meals are packaged, they are distributed to local food pantries with any remaining meals going to the Northern Illinois Food Depository.

Locally, meals are picked up by: B.E.D.S., Catholic Charities, St. Barbara’s Food Pantry, St. Cletus, Veteran Connection, Safe Haven, Cook’s Manor and Riverside Township. While this event is only held once a year, food is needed on an ongoing basis.

According to Lisa Swicionis from the Christ Presbyterian Church in North Riverside (part of the Covenant of Churches), the program is one of their main missions to help the hungry and insecure within our own community.

Swicionis added they are in need of funds to purchase the items to be packaged and they need people to help with the packing. This year’s goal is 100,000 meals. You do not need to be a member of any of the churches, just someone who is interested in helping.

To learn more about the event and learn more about the organization known as Outreach International, go to

On Saturday morning after you have had a nice breakfast, you may want to head over to the North Riverside Village Commons to lend your support and be part of the Feed Our Community Day by helping or donating. It will make you feel better than that second cup of coffee.