CAROL STREAM – It seemed everyone in town became involved in collecting food last weekend.
The Rotary Club of Carol Stream held its annual Communitywide Food Drive on April 13. Organizers said the response was extraordinary.
More than 7 tons of food items were collected through the event, said Rotary Club food drive chair Luanne Triolo Newman. The items have been delivered to the Humanitarian Service Project, the Neighborhood Food Pantries at Lutheran Church of the Master and the Interfaith Food Pantry in the Outreach Community Center.
“We are fortunate to live in a community that exhibits such generosity,” said Newman, executive director of the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce. “If we had an overhead, time-lapse view of Carol Stream for the past week, it would be fascinating to see all the people who took food to schools, churches and businesses in town; to watch everyone who went to a store and brought groceries home for the drive; to observe our Neighborhood Partners winding around their neighborhood streets, going to each home with bags and fliers; to see Glenbard North on that Saturday as the one point where everyone converged with donations.”
Newman said people from throughout the community donated their time to collect food. Mayor Frank Saverino was busy all day greeting people and helping move food items, she said. He and his grandson helped fill the truck headed to the Interfaith Food Pantry, Newman said.
About 25 Neighborhood Partners hung fliers on doors throughout the community, Newman said. Residents made use of about 20 collection points that day at schools, churches and businesses. Members of Club Interact, the Rotary-affiliated group at Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream, assisted in collecting donated items.
Officials from Community Consolidated School District 93 also were involved in the food drive. Staff members were allowed to wear jeans to school April 11 in exchange for donations. District 93 students also helped move food items to Glenbard North, officials said.
Tania Brown is the site coordinator for the Neighborhood Food Pantries at Lutheran Church of the Master. She said the 4,606 pounds of items delivered are enough to last between two and three weeks.
“It’s mind-blowing and it’s noteworthy,” Brown said. “What we have in the works is a video ‘thank you’ to the community. ... This means so much to us.”
The HSP delivers food to 121 local senior citizens every month, said Kristin Maxwell, the group’s assistant executive director. She said the delivery of 4,046 pounds of food came just in time because the organization had run out of items for its monthly deliveries.
“We were overwhelmed,” Maxwell said. “It was an incredible effort on the part of the community.”
“The warm, let’s-work-together spirit in the community was so evident Saturday as we unloaded donated food,” Newman said.