Karoline and Ray during the HEAR Feeds Volunteer Day, June 11

“It’s dinner time in the summer and your three young children are staring at you with grumbling bellies, ready to eat. School is out, so they didn’t have lunch either. You go to the fridge and — as you already know — there’s nothing available to make dinner. Now you have to explain to your three young children that dinner isn’t possible tonight, but maybe tomorrow when the food pantry opens. You and your children go to bed hungry and a bit hopeless. This isn’t a made-for-television movie. It’s a harsh reality for 1 in 7 people in Illinois alone.

At HEAR, our goal is to address deficiencies in health and education and to provide relief. At the core of both health and education is hunger: without nourishment, one cannot attain a healthy lifestyle or obtain a proper education. The statistics on hunger in the United States and in Illinois are staggering:
  • 1 in 7 people struggle with hunger
  • In Illinois, 14% of the population does not have access to nutritious food sometime during the year
  • Over 12 million families nationally face hunger, a total of
  • 48 million people in America 
Taking in all of that information, we decided it was wise to use our resources and help to fill the significant food gap right here in our backyard. On June 11, 2016, from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M, 37 volunteers, including several of our HEAR Scholars, worked together to distribute 20,000 pounds of frozen chicken at three churches on the South Side of Chicago. With a refrigerated semi truck filled with 20 pallets of chicken in tow, we handed out the much-needed protein to over 2,000 people.
The churches included St. Phillip Neri, St. Ailbe and St. Sabina, with the largest turnout at St. Sabina. Father Mike Pfleger, pastor at St. Sabina, welcomed us into his community literally with open arms. With vouchers in hand, the wonderful people of St. Sabina were so happy to receive something as commonplace as chicken. It’s a simple given which we take for granted, this ability to feed ourselves and our families. For the people we had the pleasure of meeting and sharing with, our contribution made the difference between eating that night and the next or not. Despite stifling 95 degree heat, all of us came together, not as us and them, but as human beings helping one another.
Will this event change the world?  Of course not. There is way more work to be done. But,if every individual who has the means to help feed another person took the time to contribute, our drop in the bucket would become a solution to end hunger. The old saying, “every little bit counts,” is so true. The HEAR Foundation is ecstatic to be able to contribute and humbled by this extraordinary experience.”
Karoline Eigel
HEAR Feeds Co-Chair
June 2016
Some pictures from our volunteer day!