CHICAGO, NOV. 11 — Have you ever awaken in the morning to your stomach’s grumbling? Went inside your kitchen only to open an empty fridge? Worried how you will provide the next meal to your children?
This is the reality of food insecurity, a widespread yet overlooked issue in the United States. Food security can be defined as a set of circumstances that prevent your access to food, and it affects millions of Americans. One in seven people in Cook County will experience food insecurity this year, according to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
That is why Zakat Foundation of America once again partnered with Feed the Children, this time to uplift Chicago’s struggling communities one family at a time. The first distribution this year was held last June in Washington DC serving 400 families in need.
The event took place in the city’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood at the Grace and Peace Church, a former warehouse now being restored as a multipurpose facility. Student volunteers from Universal High School joined to stack up more than 1,000 food aid packages that were distributed to 400 families on Chicago’s West Side.
“We’re here to give back, we’re here to serve, and we’re here to love,” announced Rebecca, an Events Manager at Feed the Children, to a crowd of volunteers braving the cold autumn morning.
Each family received three boxes containing food and hygiene kits, in addition to children’s books. The packages are meant to sustain a family of four for a week.
“It’s an honor to partner up with Feed the Children,” said Lena, Events Coordinator at Zakat Foundation. “I pray that it benefits the families, and we can help families in Chicagoland and around the United States.”
“We’re trying to send a message,” said Grace and Peace Church Pastor John Zayes. “We may have different views on different things, but the reality is we have to work together to serve our community, and that’s what we’re doing today. Let’s serve together and show the folks there’s love in the world.”
Afterward, volunteers and staff gathered inside the church for coffee, doughnuts, and pizza.
“We’re so excited to do the work of bettering our communities, our city, and our families,” said Angelina Zayes, CEO and co-founder of GAP Community Center. “Thank you for coming together for one vision: to help the people in our communities.”