The organizers of Feed Our Community Day, an event now in its third year locally, have stated that the goal this year is to package 100,000 meals for the needy. That’s a lofty ambition, to be sure, but it’s realistic; last year 40,000 meals went out the doors of the North Riverside Village Commons.
Spearheaded by a steering committee from North Riverside’s Christ Presbyterian Church and made up of representatives from the Covenant of Churches in conjunction with a group named Feed 6, volunteers on Oct. 18 will gather at the North Riverside Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave., to pack meals that will be distributed to local food pantries and charitable organizations.
According to Lisa Swicionis, a member of the steering committee, the group has been busy recruiting volunteers who are willing to offer their time or labor or make a donation. All ages are welcome to help; this year local scout troops are planning to be on hand. Local businesses have offered their support, particularly Riverside Foods, which has assisted the project in the past.
The plan for the day, according to Swicionis, is for volunteer packers to work in shifts lasting an hour and a half. There will be three shifts beginning at 9 a.m. and finishing at 3 p.m. The food to be packaged will already have been delivered to the Village Commons, so volunteers will be ready to immediately begin packing.
Swicionis said it is a wonderful feeling packing the meals and seeing them going out the door to help feed those in need. The boxes are distributed to Catholic Charities and various food pantries. Any remaining boxes of meals go to the Northern Illinois Food Depository.
Last year, approximately 200 volunteers participated in the event and the committee looks forward to recruiting 200 or more to help this year. Those wishing to participate in any way can visit online at www.feed6.org/feed-our-community-day-registration.html. Baked goods are also being requested to serve to the volunteers as a way of saying thank you from the committee.
Christ Presbyterian Church may have a small congregation, but as an observer I can see that its members have big hearts undertaking a project like this and coordinating with the Covenant of Churches to help those who are in need.
People may stop in at the Village Commons on Oct. 18 to make a monetary donation or donate their time and be reminded of what “community” really means — helping one another in whatever way we can.