“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!
HEAR Directors setting up at St. Phillip Neri
A happy but tired group!
Volunteers at St Phillip Neri
Impromptu frisbee game while the volunteers are waiting
Three scholars and a truck
HEAR Volunteers moved hundreds of boxes of chicken
HEAR Directors Karoline Eigel and Stephen Hall setting up at St. Ailbe Church
HEAR Scholars worked hard for seven hours to provide hunger relief in our communities
Stacking the freezer at St. Ailbe food pantry
All of our wonderful scholar volunteers!
Handing out chicken
Unloading the truck at St Sabina
Arriving at St. Sabina
HEAR Scholarship Chair Dr. Ray Pollina personally handed out chicken to hundreds of people
Scholars, Associate Board Members, Directors, and local volunteers share a happy moment at St. Sabina
HEAR President Bob Wise with Executive Director Vera Pollina and Father Pfleger at St. Sabina Church
Straight outta Sabina!
HEAR Director George Silca making friends
HEAR Director Jim Ziemba speaking with Father Pfleger about other ways to serve the community
This picture does not need a caption.
HEAR President Bob Wise pitching in
HEAR Volunteers loading a truck to go to the St Sabina social services center
Our cutest constituent at St. Sabina
Altogether at St. Sabina
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